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To be studied in preparation for meditation 



Translated and explained by 


with a European Commentary by 


With Eleven Plates and Four Text Illustrations 



First published - 1931 

Second impression 1932 

Third impression 1 934. 

Fourth impression 1937 

Fifth impression 1942 

Sixth impression 1945 

Seventh impression 1947 

Translated into English by 







Origin and Contents of the T'ai I Chin Hua Tsung Chih 3 

1. Origins of the Book ..... 

2. The Psychological and Cosmological Premises of the 


Translation of the T'ai I Chin Hua Tsung Chih . 

1. Heavenly Consciousness (the Heart) 

2. The Primordial Spirit and the Conscious Spirit . 

3. Circulation of the Light and Protection of the Centre 

4. Circulation of the Light and Making the Breathing 

Rhythmical ...... 

5. Mistakes During the Circulation of the Light 

6. Confirmatory Experiences During the Circulation of 

the Light ....... 

7. The Living Manner of the Circulation of the Light 

8. A Magic Spell for the Far Journey 

Remarks ....... 

Summary of the Chinese Concepts on which is based 
the idea of the Golden Flower or Immortal Body 


Introduction ........ 77 

1. Difficulties Encountered by a European in Trying to 

Understand the East ...... 77 

2. Modern Psychology Offers a Possibility of Under- 

standing ........ 83 

The Fundamental Concepts ..... 94 

1. TheTao 94 

2, The Circular Movement and the Centre ... 96 






Phenomena of the Way .... 

1 . The Disintegration of Consciousness . 

2. Animus and Anima .... 

The Detachment of the Consciousness from 
Object ...... 

The Fulfilment ..... 

Conclusion ....... 

Examples of European Mandalas. 

Description of the Plates 

Appendix : In Memory of Richard Wilhelm 








The original German edition of The Secret of the Golden Flower, 
of which the following is the authorized English translation, 
appeared first in the autumn of 1929. On March 1st, 1930, 
Richard Wilhelm died. In May, 1930, memorial services in his 
honour were held in Munich, and Jung was asked to deliver the 
principal address. The latter finds an appropriate place in the 
English version, 1 which is published a year or more after the 
co-author's death. The address will be welcomed, not only for 
what it tells the reader of Wilhelm, but for the further light it 
throws on the standpoint of the East. 

The relation of the West to Eastern thought is a highly 
paradoxical and confusing one. On the one side, as Jung points 
out, the East creeps in among us by the back door of the 
unconscious, and strongly influences us in perverted forms, and 
on the other we repel it with violent prejudice as concerned with 
a fine-spun metaphysics that is poisonous to the scientific mind. 

If anyone is in doubt as to how far the East influences us in 
secret ways, let him but briefly investigate the fields covered 
to-day by what is called " occult thought ". Millions of people 
are included in these movements and Eastern ideas dominate 
all of them. Since there is nowhere any sign of a psychological 
understanding of the phenomena on which the ideas are based, 
they undergo a complete twisting and are a real menace in our 

A partial, realization of what is going on in this direction, 
together with the Westerner's native ignorance and mistrust of 
the world of inner experience, build up the prejudice against the 
reality of Eastern wisdom. When the wisdom of the Chinese is 
laid before a Westerner, he is very likely to ask with a sceptical 
lift of the brows why such profound wisdom did not save China 
from its present horrors. Of course, he does not stop to think that 
the Chinese asks with an equal scepticism why the much boasted 
scientific knowledge of the West, not to mention its equally boasted 
Christian ethics, did not save it from a World War. But as a 
matter of fact, present conditions in China do not invalidate 
Chinese wisdom, nor does the Great War prove the futility of 
science. In both cases we are dealing with the negative sides of 
the principles under which East and West live, and it has not yet 
been given, either to individuals or to nations, to manage the 

1 See Appendix, p. 139. 


A Vll 

vices of their virtues. Mastery of the inner world, with a relative 
contempt for the outer, must inevitably lead to great catastrophes. 
Mastery of the outer world, to the exclusion of the inner, delivers 
us over to the daemonic forces of the latter and keeps us barbaric 
despite all outward forms of culture. The solution cannot be 
fnund either in deriding Eastern spirituality as impotent, or by 
mistrusting science as a destroyer of humanity. We have to see 
that the spirit must lean on science as its guide in the world of 
reality, and that science must turn to the spirit for the meaning 
of life. 

This is the point of view established in The Secret of the Golden 
Flower. Through the combined efforts of Wilhelm and Jung we 
have for the first time a way of understanding and appreciating 
Eastern wisdom which satisfies all sides of our minds. It has 
been taken out of metaphysics and placed in psychological 
experience. We approach it with an entirely new tool, and are 
protected from the perversions the East undergoes at the hands 
of the cult-mongers of the West. At the same time, its meaning 
for us is greatly deepened when we know that, despite the gulf 
separating us from the East, we follow exactly similar paths when 
once we give heed to the inner world. 

But this book not only gives us a new approach to the East, 
it also strengthens the point of view evolving in the West with 
respect to the psyche. The reshaping of values in progress to-day 
forces the modern man out of a nursery-world of collective 
traditions into an adult's world of individual choice. He knows 
that his choice and his fate now turn upon his understanding of 
himself. Much has been taught him in recent years about the 
hitherto unsuspected elements in his psyche, but the emphasis 
is all too often on the static side alone, so that he finds himself 
possessed of little more than an inventory of contents, the nature 
of which serves to burden him with a sense of weariness rather than 
to spur him on to master the problems that confront him. Yet 
it is precisely the need of understanding himself in terms of change 
and renewal which most grips the imagination of modern man. 
Having seen the world of matter disappear before his scientific 
eye and reappear as a world of energy, he comes to ask himself 
a bold question ; does he not contain within his psyche a store 
of unexplored forces, which, if rightly understood, would give 
him a new vision of himself and help safeguard the future for 
him ? In this book his question is answered from two widely 
different sources, an ancient Chinese yoga system and analytical 
psychology. Stripped of its archaic setting, The Secret of the 
Golden Flomer is the secret of the powers of growth latent in the 
psyche, and these same powers as they reveal themselves in the 
minds of Western men also form the theme of Jung's commentary. 


In the commentary he has shown the profound psychological 
development resulting from the right relationship to the forces 
within the psyche. 

In the German edition Jung's commentary comes first, 
followed by Wilhelm's exposition of the text, and then by the 
text itself. At the author's request, the order has been changed 
so that his commentary follows the text. 

The Chinese words in this edition are in the Anglicized form. 
For making the necessary transcriptions, I am indebted to 
Mr. Arthur VValey, and to Colonel Egerton of Kegan Paul, Trench, 
Trubner and Co. The latter has been kind enough to give his 
personal attention to the editing of my manuscript. 

As a possible aid in keeping in mind the relationships between 
the various Chinese concepts such as ksing-ming, kuei-shcn, etc., 
F have added two summaries, one written and one diagrammatic. 

Fortunately for me, I have made this translation under the 
supervision of Dr. Jung, and to that fact, and to the further aid 
I have received from Mrs. Jung, I owe any success I may have 
had in meeting the difficulties presented. 

It has also been my privilege to have the completed manuscript 
read and criticized by Dr. Erla Rodakiewicz, and for her invaluable 
assistance I am deeply grateful. 

Cary F. Baynes. 


March, J 931. 






1. Origins of the Book 

The book comes from an esoteric circle in China. 
For a long time it was transmitted orally, and then in 
writing ; the first printing is from the ChHen-Lung period 
(eighteenth century). Finally, a thousand copies of it 
were reprinted in Peking in 1920, together with the Hui 
Ming Cking, and were divided among a small group of 
people who, in the opinion of the editor, understood the 
questions discussed. In this way I was able to get a 
copy. The new printing and circulation of the little 
book was due to a new religious movement growing out 
of the exigencies of the political and economic conditions 
in China. There have been formed a series of secret sects 
whose effort it is to achieve by the practice of secret 
traditions from ancient times a state of soul lifting them 
above all the misery of life. The methods used are magical 
writing, prayer, sacrifice, etc., and, in addition to these, 
widely prevalent mediumistic seances, by means of which 
direct connection with the gods and the dead is sought. 
Experiments are also made with the planchette, 1 the 
flying spirit pencil as the Chinese call it. 

But side by side with these practices, there exists 
an esoteric movement which has devoted itself with 
energy to the psychological method, that is meditation, 

1 It is a curious feet that the man who circulated this text had written for 
him by the planchette a preface by Lu Tzu, an adept of the T'ang dynasty, to 
whom these teachings are accredited. This preface certainly deviates very widely 
from the thoughts given in the book ; it is flat and colourless, like the majority 
of such productions. 

yoga practice. The followers of this method, in contra- 
distinction to the European " yogis " to whom these 
Eastern practices are only a form of sport, achieve almost 
without exception the central experience. Thus it can 
be said that, as far as the Chinese mentality is concerned, 
a completely assured method of attaining definite psychic 
experiences is commanded. (It must be noted that, as 
C. G. Jung very correctly points out, Chinese mentality, 
at least up to very recent times, has been essentially 
different in some fundamental respects from that of 
Europeans.) Besides the release from the fetters of an 
illusory outer world, there are many other goals striven 
for by the different sects. Those on the highest level 
use this release by meditation, for the purpose of seeking 
the Buddhist Nirvana, or, as for example in the present 
book, they teach that by the union of the spiritual principle 
in men to the correlated psychogenetic forces one can 
prepare for the possibility of life after death, not only 
as a shadow-being doomed to decay, but as a conscious 
spirit. In addition, and often in connection with this 
idea, there are schools of thought which try by means 
of this meditation to exert a psyehic influence on certain 
vegetative animal processes. (As Europeans we w r ould 
speak here of the endocrine gland-system.) This influence 
is intended to strengthen, rejuvenate, and normalize the 
life-processes, so that even death will be overcome in 
such a way that it fits in as a harmonious ending of life. 
The spiritual principle, now fitted for an independent 
continuation of life in the spirit-body, created out of its 
own forces, deserts the earthly body, which remains 
behind as a drying shell like that abandoned by a cicada. 
The lower strata of these sects sought in this way to 
acquire magic powers, the ability to banish evil spirits 
and disease, and here talismans, word and written charms 


play their part. Sometimes this sort of thing results in 
mass-psyehoses which then find expression in religious 
or political unrest, as, for example, the Boxer movement. 
Recently, the unmistakable syncretist tendency of 
Taoism is shown in the fact that within its institutions 
members of all of the five world-religions (Confucianism, 
Taoism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity — 
even Judaism comes in occasionally for special mention) 
are included without having to break away from their 
respective religious communities. 

Having thus briefly described the background out 
of which such movements have grown up in our time, 
a word must be said as to the sources from which the 
teachings of the book- in question arise. Very remarkable 
discoveries come to light, and we find that these precepts 
are much older than their written form. The T'ai I Chin 
Htm Tsung Chih x can be traced back to the seventeenth 
century as having been printed on wooden tablets. The 
author describes having found an incomplete copy dating 
from that time in the Liu Li Ch'ang, the old street of 
dealers in books and antiquities in Peking, and tells how 
he filled it out later from a friend's book. But the oral 
tradition goes back even further than that, to the religion 
of the Golden Elixir of Life (Chin Tan Chiao), which 
developed in the T'ang period in the eighth century. 
The founder is said to have been the well-known Taoist 
adept, Lu Yen (Lii Tung-pin), counted later by folk-lore 
as one of the eight immortals, about whom in the course 
of time a rich store of myths has gathered. This sect, 
like all religions, native and foreign, met with tolerance 
and encouragement in the T'ang period and greatly 

1 The Secret of the Golden Flower (Tat I Chin Hua Tsung Chih), whose title 
was changed to Ch'ang Shing Shu (The Art of Prolonging Human Life), by the 
Chinese publisher of this edition. 

increased in numbers, but,, as it was always an esoteric 
and secret religion, in the course of time it began to suffer 
persecution because of members being suspected of 
political intrigues. Again and again, its adherents were 
persecuted by a hostile government, lastly in an extremely 
cruel way by the Manchus, just before their own fall. 1 
Many members have turned to the Christian religion, and 
all, even if they have not actually entered the church, 
are friendly toward it. 

Our book gives the best available account of the 
religion of the Golden Elixir of Life (Chin Tan Chiao). 
The sayings are attributed to Lii Yen, whose other name 
was Lii Tung-pin, or Lii, the Guest of the Cavern. He 
lived at the end of the eighth, and at the beginning of 
the ninth centurv, and was bom in the vear a.d. 755. 
To his savings a later commentary has been added, but 
it springs from the same tradition. 

Whence did Lii get his esoteric, secret lore ? He 
himself attributes its origin to Kuan Yin-hsi, the Master 
Yin-hsi of the Pass (Kuan, i.e. Han Ku Pass), for whom, 
according to tradition, Lao Tzii wrote down his Tao 
Te Ching. As a matter of fact, there are to be found in 
the system a great many thoughts taken from the esoteric, 
veiled, mystical teaching in the Tao T6 Ching. If we 
compare, for example, the " gods in the valley " with 
the " valley-spirit " of Lao Tzu, the two are found to be 
identical. But while Taoism degenerated more and 
more in the Han period in an external wizardry, due to 
the fact that the Taoist court magicians were seeking to 
find by alchemy the philosopher's stone which would 
create gold out of the baser metals and lend men physical 
immortality, Lii Yens movement represented a reform. 
The aichemistic signs became symbols of psychological 

1 In the year 1891, 15,000 members were killed by Manehu hirelings. 


processes. In this respect, there was a close approach 
to the original ideas of Lao Tzu. The latter, however, 
was altogether a free-thinker, and his follower, Chuang 
Tzii, scorned all the hocus-pocus of yoga practice, nature- 
healers, and seekers after the elixir of life, although he 
himself, of course, practised meditation and attained by 
means of it that view of unity upon which he founded 
his later, intellectually developed system. In Lii Yen, 
however, there was a certain faith, a religious trend, 
which, stimulated by Buddhism, convinced him of the 
illusory quality of all external things, but in a way clearly 
different from Buddhism. He seeks, with all his might, 
the fixed pole in the whirl of phenomena, where the 
adept can attain eternal life, a thought absolutely foreign 
to Buddhism, which denies every substantial ego. 

Nevertheless, the influence of Mahay ana Buddhism, 
which at that time dominated thought in China, is not 
to be underrated. Buddhist sutras are cited time and 
again. In our text, indeed, this influence is even greater 
than can be assumed to have been the case in the Chin 
Tan Chiao in general. In the second half of the third 
section, explicit reference is made to the method known 
as " fixating contemplation " (Chik Kuan), and the latter 
is a purely Buddhist method which was practised in the 
T'ten T'ai School of Chih K'aL 

From this point on, there is to be observed a certain 
break in the sequence of thought in our essay. On the 
one hand, the cultivation of the " Golden Flower " is 
further described, but, on the other hand, there appear 
purely Buddhist ideas which repudiate the world and 
emphatically push the goal towards Nirvana. Then 
follow several sections l which have scarcely more value 

1 These sections are omitted from the present translation.— (R. W.) 


than gleanings, that is, if one considers the spiritually 
high level and strict sequence of the work as a whole. 
Moreover, the work towards an inner rebirth by means 
of contact with the circulation of the Light, and the 
creation of the divine seed-kernel, is only described in 
its first stages, although the later stages are named as 
the goal. (Compare the Hsii Ming Fang of Liu Hua Hang 
where these later stages are more carefully explained.) 
Therefore, we cannot escape the suspicion that a portion 
of the manuscript has actually been lost, and substitutions 
made from other sources. If that is so, it would explain 
the afore-mentioned break in continuity and the fall in 
level of the parts not translated. 

An unprejudiced reading will bring to notice the fact 
that these two sources, Taoism and Buddhism, do not 
suffice to cover the whole range of thought : the form 
of Confucianism which is based on the I Ching is also 
introduced. The eight fundamental signs (Pa Kua) of 
the / Ching are brought into various passages of our 
text as symbols for certain inner processes, and further 
on we will try to explain the influence exerted by the 
application of the symbols. For the rest, since Con- 
fucianism has a broad common base with Taoism, the 
union of these two sets of ideas does not cause a loss 
in coherence. 

Perhaps it will strike many a European reader as 
remarkable that there appear in the text sayings familiar 
to him from Christian teaching, while, on the other hand, 
these same well-known things which in Europe are very 
often taken only as ecclesiastical metaphors, are here 
given quite a different perspective because of the psycho- 
logical connections in which they are placed. We find 
intuitions and concepts like the following, to select only 
a few that are especially striking : Light is the life of 


man. The eye is the light of the body. Man is spiritually 
reborn out of water and fire, to which must be added 
" thought-earth " (spirit), as womb, or tilled field. Let 
us compare the sayings of John : I baptize you with 
water : after me shall come one who will baptize with 
the Holy Ghost and with fire ; or : Except a man be 
born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God. How plastic becomes the thought of 
" water " as the seed-substance in our text, and how clear 
the difference between the outward streaming activity 
which exhausts itself in creation (what is born of flesh 
remains flesh), and the " backward flowing " movement 
(metanoia) I 

The bath, too, plays its part in this rebirth just as it 
does in the baptism preached by John and in the Christian 
baptism as well. Even the mystical marriage, which plays 
such an important role in Christian parables, appears several 
times ; there is also mentioned the child, the boy within 
ourselves, as well as the bride. (The boy is the puer 
aetemus, the Christ who must be born in us and who, 
taken another way, is the bridegroom of the soul.) And 
what is most striking of all, perhaps, even an apparently 
minor detail, the need of having oil in the lamps so that 
they can burn brightly, takes on a new and weighty- 
psychological meaning, thanks to our text. It is worth 
mentioning that the expression Golden Flower (Chin 
Htui), in an esoteric connection, includes the word "light " 
If one writes the two characters one above the other, so 
that they touch, the lower part of the upper character and 
the upper part of the lower character, make the character 
for " light " (kuang). Apparently this secret sign was 
invented in a time of persecution, when a veil of deep 
secrecy was necessary to the further promulgation of the 
doctrine. That was also the reason the teaching always 


remained limited to secret circles. Even to-day its 
membership is greater than appears from the outside. 

If we ask whither this light-religion points, we can 
first of all consider Persia, for even in the T'ang period 
there were Persian temples in many places in China. 
But if certain points correspond with the religion of 
Zarathustra, and especially with Persian mysticism, there 
are, on the other hand, very strong divergences. Another 
view to be considered is that of a direct Christian influence. 
In the T*ang period, the religion of the Uigurs, who were 
connected with the Emperor, was the Nestorian branch 
of Christianity and stood in high favour, as is witnessed 
by the well-known Xestorian monument in Sianfu. It 
was erected in 781, and has both a Chinese and a Syrian 
inscription. Thus connections between the Nestorians 
and the Chin Tan Chiao are quite possible. Th. Richard 
went so far as to consider the Chin Tan Chiao simply a 
survival of the old Nestorians. He was led to this view 
by certain agreements in ritual and certain traditions 
of the Chin Tan Chiao membership which approach 
closely to the Christian practice. Lately P. Y. Saeki x 
has taken up the theory again, and, supported by the 
Nestorian liturgy found in Tun-huang by Pelliot, has 
established a series of further parallels. He even goes 
so far as to identifv Lu Yen, the founder of the Chin 
Tan Chiao, with Adam, the Chronicler of the text of the * 
Nestorian monument, who signs himself with the Chinese 
name Lu Hsiu-yen. According to this hypothesis, Lu 
Yen, the founder of the Chin Tan Chiao, would have been 
a Christian of the Nestorian confession ! Saeki goes 
decidedly too far in his delight in identifications : his 
proofs are all of them almost convincing, but there is 
always lacking the crucial point which would clinch 

1 The Nestorian Monument in China. London, 2nd edition, 1928. 


the matter. Many partial proofs do not make a whole 
one, but we must agree with him at least to the extent 
of admitting that in the Chin Tan Chiao there has been 
a strong admixture of Nestorian ideas which are also 
evident in the present manuscript. These ideas seem, 
on the one hand, very odd in their strange dress, while 
on the other hand thev take on a remarkable "new " sort 
of life. Here we reach one of those points which prove 
over and over again : 

" East and West are no longer to remain apart." 

2. The Psychological and Cosmological Premises of 

the Text 

In the interpretation of the following translation, 
it is of value to say a few more w T ords about the founda- 
tions of the Weltanschauung on which the method depends. 
This philosophy is, to a certain extent, the common 
property of all Chinese trends of thought. It is built 
on the premise that cosmos and man in the last analysis 
obey common laws ; that man is a cosmos in miniature 
and is not divided from the great cosmos by any fixed 
limits. The same laws rule for the one as for the other, 
and from the one a way leads into the other. The psyche 
and the cosmos are related to each other like the inner 
and outer worlds. Therefore man participates by nature 
in all cosmic events, and is inwardly as well as outwardly 
interwoven with them. 

Tao, then, the meaning of the world, the way, 
dominates man just as it does invisible and visible nature 
(Heaven and Earth). The character for Tao in its original 


form, 1 consists of a head, which must be interpreted as 
tk beginning "' ; and, under that, the character for 
" standing still ", which, in the later way of writing, has 
been omitted. The original meaning, then, is that of a 
"* track which, though fixed itself, leads from the beginning 
directly to the goal ". The fundamenal idea is the 
idea that Tao, though itself motionless, is the means of 
all movement and gives it law. Heavenly paths are 
those along which the stars move ; the path of man is 
the way along which he must travel. Lao Tzu has used 
this word in the metaphysical sense, as the final world 
principle, the " Meaning " existing before there is any 
realization and not yet divided by the pulling asunder of 
polar opposites on which all realization depends. This 
terminology is presupposed in the present book. 

In Confucianism there is a certain difference in the 
terminology. The word Tao has here an inner-world 
significance and means the " right way " ; on the one 
hand, the way of Heaven, on the other, the way of man. 
To Confucianism, the final principle of an undivided 
One is the T*ai Chi (the great ridge-beam, the great pole). 
The term " pole " occasionally comes in our text also, 
and is there identical with Tao. 

Out of Tao, that is to say, out of the T'ai Chi, there 
develop the principles of reality ; the one pole being light 
iyang) and the other darkness (yin). Among European 
investigators, some have turned first to sexual references 
for an explanation, but the characters refer to phenomena 
in nature. Yin is shadow, therefore the north side of a 
mountain and the south side of a river (because during 
the day the position of the sun makes the river appear 
dark from the south). Yang, in its original form shows 

1 Compare -Ku Chou Pien, vol. 66, p. 25 ff., which was also consulted as to the 
analysis" of the other characters. 


flying pennants, and, corresponding to the character yin, 
is the south side of a mountain and the north side of a 
river. Starting with the meaning of " light " and " dark ", 
the principle was then expanded to all polar opposites, 
including the sexual. However, both yin and yang are only 
active in the realm of phenomena, and have their common 
origin in an undivided unity, yang as the active principle 
appearing to condition, and yin as the passive principle 
seeming to be derived or conditioned. It is therefore 
quite clear that a metaphysical dualism is not at the 
bottom of these ideas. Less abstract than yin and yang 
are the concepts of the creative and the receptive (ChHen 
and K'un) that originate in the Book of Changes [I Ching], 
and are symbolized by Heaven and Earth. Through the 
union of Heaven and Earth, and through the activity of 
the two primordial forces within this scene (an activity 
governed by the one primal law Tao), there develop the 
" ten thousand things ", that is, the outer world. 

Viewed objectively as a physical organism, which 
in all its parts is also a small universe (Hsiao T'ien Ti) t 
man is one of the " ten thousand things ". So, according 
to the Confucians, the inner nature of man comes from 
Heaven, or, as the Taoists express it, it is a phenomenal 
form of Tao. In his phenomenal form man develops 
into a multiplicity of individuals in each of whom the 
central monad is enclosed as the life-principle ; but 
immediately, before birth even, at the moment of con- 
ception, it separates into the bi-polar phenomena of 
essence and life (hsing and ming). The character for 
essence (hsing) is made up of those for heart (hsiri), and 
origin, being born (sheng). The heart (hsiri), according 
to the Chinese idea, is the seat of emotional consciousness, 
which is awakened through feeling reactions to impressions 
received from the external world by the five senses. 


That wrdvh remains as a substratum when no feelings are 
bt-m«4 expressed, but which lingers, so to speak, in a 
transcendental, superconscious. condition, is essence 
;ksir:2). Varying according to the more exact definition 
of this concept, essence is either originally good, if looked 
at from the standpoint of the eternal idea, 1 or it is 
originally evil, or at least neutral (if taken from the stand- 
point of empirical evolution), 2 and has to be made into 
something good by a long development of custom. 

Essence (hsing), undoubtedly related to logos, appears 
closely knit with life (ming) when entering phenomena. 
The character ming really signifies a royal command then, 
destiny, fate, the fate allotted to a man, so too, the 
duration of life, the measure of vitality at one's disposal, and 
thus it comes about that ming (life) is closely related to eros. 
Both principles are, so to speak, super-individual. Man 
as a spiritual being is made human by essence (hsing). 
The individual man possesses it. but it extends far beyond 
the limits of the individual. Life (ming) is also super- 
individual in that man must simply accept a destiny which 
does not come from his conscious will. Confucianism 
sees in it a Heaven-made law to which man must adapt ; 
Taoism takes it as the multi-coloured play of nature 
which cannot evade the laws of Tao i but w T hieh, as such, 
is pure chance ; Chinese Buddhism sees it as the w r orking 
out of karma within the world of illusion. 

To these dualities there correspond in the corporeal- 
personal man the following bi-polar tensions. The body 
is activated by the interplay of two psychic structures : 
first, hun, which I have translated as animus* the 

1 See Meneius. 

* See Hsun K'uang. 

3 Wilhelm's use of the term animus lends the latter a meaning quite different 
from that given it by Jung's concept, where the animus is an element in a woman's 
mind. Jung finds Aim close to the meaning of logos, but the latter term could not 
be used for hun, first, because of there being another Chinese concept still closer 


masculine soul, because it belongs to the yang principle, 
and secondly, p'o, which belongs to the yin principle, and 
is rendered by me as anima. 1 Both are ideas coming from 
an observation of the events connected with death, and 
therefore both contain in their written form the sign 
for daemon, that is, the departed one (kuei). The anima 
was thought of as especially linked with the bodily 
processes ; at death it sinks to the earth and decays. 
The animus, on the other hand, is the higher soul ; after 
death it rises in the air, where at first it is active for a 
time and then evaporates in ethereal space, or flows 
back into the reservoir of life. In living men, the two 
correspond in a certain degree to the cerebral and 
sympathetic nervous system. The animus dwells in the 
eyes, the anima in the abdomen. The animus is bright 
and active, the anima is dark and earth-bound. The 
sign for hun (animus) is made up of the character for 
"daemon" and "cloud", while that for p'o (anima) is 
composed of the characters for " daemon " and " white ". 
This would indicate ideas similar to what we find appearing 
elsewhere as shadow-soul and body-soul, and without a 
doubt the Chinese concept is meant to include something 
like this. None the less, we must be cautious in the matter 
of derivations, because the most ancient script known 
in China had no sign for daemon, and so we may perhaps 
be dealing with primordial symbols whose derivations 

to logos, i.e. hsing (essence), and also because hun is described as being a personal 
factor, while logos is strictly impersonal. The expression " spirit soul " as opposed 
to " earthly soul " would seem to cover the meaning of hun as explained by Wilhehn, 
and in order to avoid a possible confusion in terminology it was planned to make 
this alteration in the English version, the authors having agreed that a change was 
advisable. But though the proposed substitution would undoubtedly simplify things 
for the reader and would involve no change in meaning, still it would require the 
rearrangement of several paragraphs and thus cause too great a divergence between 
the two editions. For that reason, the change has not been carried out. — (C. F. B.) 
1 It is to be noted that p'o corresponds to only one part of the anima as con- 
ceived by Jung. In the latter's concept, the spiritual side of the anima is quite 
as important as the animal side. — (C. F. B.) 


are lost. In any case, animus (hun) is the light, yang- 
soul, while anima (p'o) is the dark, yin-soul. 

The usual, unchecked, 1 that is, downward movement 
of the life-processes, is the one in which the two souls 
are related as the intellectual and animal factors. As a 
rule, it will be the anima, the blind will, which, goaded by 
passions, forces the animus or intellect into its service. 
At least the anima will do this to the extent that the 
intellect directs itself outward, whereby the powers both 
of animus and anima leak away and life consumes itself. 
A positive result is the creation of new beings in which 
life continues, while the original being " externalizes 
itself r ' and " ultimately is made by things into a thing ". 
The end result is death. The anima sinks, the animus 
rises, and the ego, robbed of its strength, is left behind in 
a dubious condition. 

If the ego has acquiesced in the " externalization ", 
it follows the downward pull, and sinks into the dull 
misery* of death, only poorly nourished by the illusory 
images of life which it still attracts to itself without 
being able to participate in anything actively (hells, 
hungry souls). But, if the ego has made an effort to 
strive upward in spite of the process of " externalization ", 
it maintains for a time (as long, in fact, as it is reinforced 
by the powers of sacrifice of its survivors) a relatively 

1 The German word used is rechtlaufig, -which means normal flow. In 
the text it describes forces in the body which flow from up to down, and 
so in all other instances except the above I have translated it as downward- 
flowing. When the forces in the body are not allowed to go their natural, down- 
ward course, but are dammed up, the movement is described in the text as back- 
ward-flowing (ruckldvfig). The yoga system teaches a technique of meditation 
whereby the natural flow can be thus reversed and the force made to rise to the 
higher centres, where it is converted into spirit. Leaving out this end. result, it is 
easy for the student of analytical psychology to see a connection between the two 
streams of force and the concept of extraversion and introversion. An important 
difference is the fact that extraverskm and introversion apply to psychical energy 
alone, whereas the Chinese concept seems to include both psychical and physiological 
processes. — (C. F. B.) 


happy life, each according to its deserts. In both cases, 
if the ego follows the anima, the personal element retreats 
and there ensues an involution corresponding to the 
amount of " externalization ". The being then becomes 
an impotent phantom because the forces of life fail and its 
fate is ended. It now partakes of the fruits of its good 
or bad deeds in heavens or hells, which, however, are 
not external things, but purely subjective states. The 
more the being is sunk in these states, the more entangled 
in them it becomes, till finally it disappears from the plane 
of existence, of whatever nature that may have been, and 
then by entering a new womb begins a new existence 
formed out of its supply of images and memories. This 
condition is the state of the daemon, the spirit, the 
departed one, the one who withdraws. The Chinese 
word for this ghost-being is kuei, often wrongly translated 
by "devil". 

If, on the other hand, it has been possible during life 
to set going the " backward-flowing ", rising movement of 
the life-forces, if the forces of the anima are mastered by 
the animus, then a release from external things takes 
place. They are recognized but not desired. Thus the 
illusion is robbed of its strength. An inner, ascending 
circulation of forces takes place. The ego withdraws 
from its entanglement in the world, and after death 
remains alive because " interiorization " has prevented 
the wasting of the life-forces in the outer world. Instead 
of these being dissipated, they have made within the inner 
rotation of monad a centre of life which is independent 
of bodily existence. Such an ego is a god, deus, shSn. 
The character for shin means to expand, to produce an 
effect, in a word, the opposite of Li. In the oldest 
Chinese script, it is represented by a double serpentine 
coil, which can also mean thunder, lightning, electrical 


activity, S::eh a being survives as long as the inner 
rotation continues. Also, it can invisibly influence men 
to ureat thoughts and noble deeds. The saints and sages 
of ancient times are beings like these, who for thousands 
»>f years have stimulated and educated humanity. 

But there remains a limitation. These beings retain 
a persona! character, and are therefore subject to the 
effects of space and time. Neither are they immortal 
any more than Heaven and Earth are eternal. Eternal 
is the Golden Flower only, which grows out of inner 
liberation from ail bondage to things. A man who reaches 
this stage transposes his ego ; he is no longer limited to 
the monad, but penetrates the magic circle of the polar 
duality of ail phenomena and returns to the undivided 
One, Tao. Herein lies a difference between Buddhism 
and Taoism. In Buddhism, this return to Nirvana is 
connected with a complete annihilation of the ego, which, 
like the world, is only illusion. If Nirvana may not be 
explained as death, cessation, still it is something trans- 
cendent. In Taoism, on the other hand, the goal is to 
preserve in a transfigured form, the idea of the person, 
the " traces " left by experience. That is the Light, 
which with life returns to itself, symbolized in our text 
by the Golden Flower. 

As a supplement, we must still add a few words about 
the use of the eight signs of the Book of Changes (I Ching) 
in our text. The sign Chen EEJE, thunder, the arouser, 
is life which breaks out of the depths of the Earth ; it is 

the beginning of all movement. The sign Sun , 

wind, wood, gentleness, characterizes the streaming of the 
reality-forces into the form of the idea. Just as wind 
pervades all places, so the principle for which Sun stands 
is all-penetrating, and breathes " realization ". The sign 
Li EHE, sun, fire, the lucid (the principle of that which 


adheres to), plays a great role in this light religion. It 
dwells in the eyes, forms the protecting circle, and effects 
the rebirth. The sign K'un = =, earth, the receptive, is 
one of the two primordial principles, namely the yin 
principle which is made real in the forces of the Earth. 
It is the Earth which, as a tilled field, takes up the seed 
of Heaven and gives it form. The sign Tut " ~~ , 
lake, mist, serenity, is an end condition on the yin side, 
and therefore belongs to autumn. The sign ChHen _ -_"-, 
Heaven, the creative, the strong, is the reality form of the 
yang principle which fertilizes K l un, the receptive. The 
sign K'an ZEE-n water, the abysmal, is the opposite of 
Li jELJEf, as is shown in its structure. It represents 
the region of eros, while Li stands for logos. Li is the 
sun, K'an the moon. The marriage of K'an and Li is 
the secret magical process which produces the child, the 
new man. The sign Ken EF"z=, mountain, quietness, 
represents meditation, which, by keeping external things 
quiescent, quickens the inner world. Therefore Ken is the 
place w r here death and life meet, where " Stirb und Werde " l 
is consummated. 

i « 

Die and come to life 1 " 




1. Heavenly Consciousness (The Heart) 

Master Lii Tzu said : That which exists through itself 
is called Meaning (Tao). Meaning has neither name nor 
force. It is the one essence, the one primordial spirit. 
Essence and life cannot be seen. It is contained in the 
Light of Heaven. The Light of Heaven cannot be seen. 
It is contained in the two eyes. To-day I will be your 
guide and will first reveal to you the secret of the Golden 
Flower of the Great One, and, starting from that, I will 
explain the rest in detail. 

The Great One is the term given to that which has 
nothing above it. The secret of the magic of life consists 
in using action in order to achieve non-action. One must 
not wish to leave out the steps between and penetrate 
directlv. The maxim handed down to us is to take in 
hand the work on the essence. In doing this it is important, 
not to follow the wrong road. 

The Golden Flower is the Light. What colour has 
the Light ? One uses the Golden Flower as an image. 
It is the true power of the transcendent Great One. The 
phrase, " The lead of the water-region has but one taste," 
refers to it. 

In the Book of Changes it is said r : Heaven created water 
through the One. That is the true power of the Great One. 
If a man attains this One he becomes alive ; if he misses it he dies. 
But even if a man lives in the power (air, prana) he does not see 
the power (air), just as fishes live in water but do not see the water. 
A man dies when he has no life-air, just as the fishes are destroyed 
when deprived of water. Therefore the adepts have taught the 
people to hold fast to the primal and to guard the One ; it is the 

1 The references on this and the following pages are to remarks on page 71. 


circular course of the Light and the protection of the centre. If 
one guards this true power, one can prolong the span of life, and 
can then apply the methods of creating an immortal body by 
" melting and mixing ". 

The work on the circulation of the Light depends 
entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the 
thoughts are gathered together (the place of Heavenly 
Consciousness, the Heavenly Heart). The Heavenly 
Heart lies between sun and moon (i.e. the two eyes). 

The Booh of the Yellow Castle says : In the field 
of the square inch of the house of the square foot, life 
can be regulated. The house of the square foot is the 
face. The field of the square inch in the face : what 
could that be other than the Heavenly Heart ? In the 
middle of the square inch dwells the splendour. In the 
purple hall of the city of jade dwells the god of utmost 
emptiness and life. The Confucians call it the centre 
of emptiness ; the Buddhists, the terrace of life ; the 
Taoists, the ancestral land, or the yellow castle, or the 
dark pass, or the space of former Heaven. The Heavenly 
Heart is like the dwelling place, the Light is the master. 

Therefore when the Light circulates, the powers of 
the whole body arrange themselves before its throne, just 
as when a holy king has taken possession of the capital 
and has laid down the fundamental rules of order, all 
the states approach with tribute; or, just as when the 
master is quiet and calm, men-servants and maids obey 
his orders of their own accord, and each does his work. 

Therefore you only have to make the Light circulate : 
that is the deepest and most wonderful secret. The Light 
is easy to move, but difficult to fix* If it is allowed to 
go long enough in a circle, then it crystallizes itself : that 
is the natural spirit-body. This crystallized spirit is 
formed beyond the nine Heavens. It is the condition of 


which it is said in the Book of the Seal of the Heart : 
Silently in the morning thou fiiest upward. 

In carrying out this fundamental truth you need to 
seek for no other methods, but must only concentrate your 
thoughts on it. The book Ling Yen (2) says : By 
collecting the thoughts one can fly and will be born in 
Heaven. Heaven is not the wide blue sky, but the 
place where the body is made in the house of the creative. 
If one keeps this up for a long time, there develops quite 
naturally in addition to the body, yet another spirit-body. 

The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life (Chin Tan, 
literally, golden ball, golden pill). All changes of spiritual 
consciousness depend upon the Heart. Here is a secret 
charm, which, although it works very accurately, is yet 
so fluent that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, 
and complete absorption and calm. People without 
this highest degree of intelligence and understanding do 
not find the way to apply the charm ; people without this 
utmost capacity for concentration and calm cannot keep 
fast hold of it. 

This section explains the origin of the Great Meaning of the world 
(Too). The Heavenly Heart is the germinal root of the Great 
Meaning. If a man can be absolutely quiet then the Heavenly 
Heart will manifest itself. When the feeling springs up and flows 
-out in the natural course, the person is created as primordial 
creature. This creature abides between conception and birth in* 
true space. When the One note of individuation enters into 
birth, essence and life are divided in two. From this time on, if the 
utmost peace is not achieved, essence and life never see each 
other again. 

Therefore it is said in the plan of the Great Pole : The Great 
One includes within itself true power (prana), seed, spirit, animus, 
and anima. If the thoughts are absolutely quiet so that the 
Heavenly Heart can be seen, the spiritual intelligence reaches the 
source unaided. This essence lives indeed in true space, but the 


splendour of the Light dwells in the two eyes. Therefore the Master 
teaches the circulation of the Light so that the true essence 
may be reached. The true essence is the primordial spirit. The 
primordial spirit is precisely essence and life, and if one accepts 
what is real in it, it is the primordial power. And the Great 
Meaning is just this thing. 

The Master is further concerned that the people should not 
miss the way that leads from conscious action to unconscious 
non-action. Therefore he says : The magic of the Elixir of Life 
makes use of conscious action in order that non-action may be 
attained. Conscious action consists in setting the Light in circula- 
tion by reflection in order to make manifest the setting free of 
Heaven. If then the true seed is born, and the right method 
applied in order to melt and mix it, and in that way to create 
the Elixir of Life, then one goes through the pass. The embryo, 
which must be developed by the work of warming, nourishing, 
bathing, and washing, is formed. That crosses over into the realm 
of unconscious non-action. A whole year of this fire-period is 
needed before the embryo is born, sheds the membranes, and 
passes out of the ordinary world into the holy world. 

This method is quite simple and easy. But there are so many 
transforming and changing conditions connected with it that it is 
said : Not with one leap can a man suddenly get there. Who- 
ever is seeking eternal life must search for the place whence essence 
and life originally spring. 

2. The Primordial Spirit and the Conscious Spirit 

Master Lu Tzii said : In comparison with Heaven 
and Earth, man is like a mayfly. But compared to the 
Great Meaning, Heaven and Earth, too, are like a bubble 
and a shadow. Only the primordial spirit and the true 
essence overcome time and space. 

The power of the seed, like Heaven and Earth, is 
subject to mortality, but the primordial spirit is beyond 


the polar differences. Here is the place whence Heaven 
and Earth derive their being. When students under- 
stand how to grasp the primordial spirit they overcome 
the polar opposites of Light and Darkness and tarry 
no longer in the three worlds (3). But only he who has 
looked on essence in its original manifestation is able 
to do thisl 

When men are set free from the womb the primordial 
spirit dwells in the square inch (between the eyes), but 
the conscious spirit dwells below in the heart. This lower 
fleshly heart has the shape of a large peach : it is covered 
by the wings of the lungs, supported by the liver, and 
served by the bowels. This heart is dependent on the 
outside world. If a man does not eat for one day even, 
it feels extremely uncomfortable. If it hears something 
terrifying it throbs ; if it hears something enraging it 
stops ; if it is faced with death it becomes sad ; if it sees 
something beautiful it is dazzled. But the Heavenly 
Heart in the head, when would it have been in the least 
moved ? Dost thou ask : Can the Heavenly Heart not be 
moved ? Then I answer : How could the true thought 
in the square inch be moved ? If it really moves, it is 
not well. For when ordinary men die, then it moves, 
but that is not good. It is best indeed if the Light has . 
already fortified itself in a spirit-body and its life-force 
gradually penetrated the instincts and movements. But 
that is a secret which has not been revealed for thousands 
of years. 

The lower heart moves like a strong, powerful com- 
mander who despises the Heavenly ruler because of his 
weakness, and has seized for himself the leadership of the 
affairs of state. But when the primordial castle can be 
fortified and defended, then it is as if a strong and wise 
ruler sat upon the throne. The two eyes start the Light 


circulating like two ministers at the right and the left 
who support the ruler with all their might. When the 
ruler in the centre is thus in order, all those rebellious 
heroes will present themselves with lances reversed ready 
to take orders. 

The way to the Elixir of Life recognizes as supreme 
magic, seed-water, spirit-fire, and thought-earth : these 
three. What is seed- water ? It is the true, one power 
(eros) of former Heaven. Spirit-fire is the Light (logos). 
Thought-earth is the Heavenly Heart of the middle house 
(intuition). Spirit-fire is used for effecting, thought-earth 
for substance, and seed- water for the foundation. Ordinary 
men make their bodies through thoughts. The body is 
not only the 7 ft. tall outer body. In the body is 
the anima. The anima, having produced consciousness, 
adheres to it. Consciousness depends for its origin on the 
anima. The anima is feminine (yin), the substance of 
consciousness. As long as this consciousness is not 
interrupted, it continues to beget from generation to 
generation, and the changes of form of the anima and the 
transformations of substance are unceasing. 

But, besides this, there is the animus in which the 
spirit shelters. The animus lives in the daytime in the 
eyes ; at night it houses in the liver. When living in the 
eyes, it sees ; when housing itself in the liver, it dreams. 
Dreams are the wanderings of the spirit through all nine 
Heavens and all the nine Earths. But whoever is dull 
and moody on waking, and chained to his bodily form, is 
fettered by the anima. Therefore the concentration of 
the animus is effected by the circulation of the Light, 
and in this way the spirit is protected, the anima subjected, 
and consciousness annulled. The method used by the 
ancients for escaping from the world consisted in burning 
out completely the slag of darkness in order to return to 


the purely creative. This is nothing more than a reduction 
of the anima and a bringing to perfection of the animus. 
And the circulation of the Light is the magical means of 
limiting the dark powers and gaining mastery of the 
anima. Even if the work is not directed toward bringing 
back the creative, but confines itself to the magical 
means of the circulation of the Light, it is just the Light 
that is creative. By means of its circulation, one returns 
to the creative. If this method is followed, plenty of 
seed- water will be present of itself ; the spirit-fire will be 
ignited, and the thought-earth will solidify and crystallize. 
And thus can the holy fruit mature. The scarabseus rolls 
his ball and in the ball there develops life as the effect of 
the undivided effort of his spiritual concentration. If 
now an embryo can grow in manure, and shed its skin, 
why should not the dwelling place of our Heavenly Heart 
also be able to create a body if we concentrate the spirit 
upon it ? 

The one effective, true essence (logos united with life), 
when it descends into the house of the creative, divides 
into animus and anima. The animus is in the Heavenly 
Heart. It is of the nature of light; it is the power of 
lightness and purity. It is that which we have received 
from the great emptiness, that which has form from the 
very beginning. The anima partakes of the nature of 
darkness. It is the power of the heavy and the turbid ; 
it is bound to the bodily, fleshly heart. The animus loves 
life. The anima seeks death. All sensuous pleasures and 
impulses to anger are effects of the anima; it is the 
conscious spirit which after death is nourished on blood, 
but which, during life, is in direst need. Darkness returns 
to darkness and like things attract each other. But the 
pupil understands how to distil the dark anima so that it 
transforms itself into Light (yang) (4). 


In this part there is described the role played by the primordial 
spirit and the conscious spirit in the making of the human body. 
The Master says : The life of man is like that of a mayfly : only 
the true essence of the primordial spirit can escape the cycle of 
Heaven and Earth and the fate of the aeons. The true essence 
proceeds from that which has no polarity and receives the prim- 
ordial force of polarity whereby it takes the true essence of 
Heaven and Earth into itself and becomes the conscious spirit. 
As primordial spirit it receives the essence from father and mother. 
This primordial spirit is without consciousness and knowledge, 
but is able to regulate the formative processes of the body. The 
conscious spirit is very apparent and very effective, and can adapt 
itself unceasingly. It is the ruler of the human heart. As long as 
it stays in the body it is the animus. After its departure from the 
body it becomes spirit. While the body is entering into existence, 
the primordial spirit has not yet made an embryo in which it 
could incorporate itself. Thus it crystallizes itself in free oneness 
without poles. 

At the time of birth the conscious spirit draws in the power of 
the air and thus becomes the dwelling of the new-born. It lives 
in the heart. From that time on the heart is master, and the 
primordial spirit loses its place while the conscious spirit has 

The primordial spirit loves peace, and the conscious spirit 
loves movement. In its movement it remains bound to the feelings 
and desires. Day and night it wastes the primal seed till the 
force of the primordial spirit is entirely used up. Then the con- 
scious spirit leaves the shell and goes away. 

Whoever has done good in the main, has a power of spirit that 
is pure and clear when death comes. It passes out by the upper" 
openings of mouth and nose. The pure and light air-power rises 
upward and floats up to Heaven and becomes the five-fold, 
present shadow-genius, or shadow-spirit. But if, during life, 
the primordial spirit was used by the conscious spirit for avarice, 
folly, desire, and lust, and has committed all sorts of sins, then in 
the moment of death, the power of the spirit is troubled and 
confused, and the conscious spirit passes, together with the air, 
through the lower openings to the door of the belly. For if the 
power of the spirit is turbid and unclean, it crystallizes downward,* 
sinks down to Hell and becomes a demon. Then not only the 



primordial spirit loses its nature, but the power and wisdom 
of the true essence is thereby lessened. Therefore the Master 
says : If it moves itself, that is not good. If one wants to protect 
the primordial spirit, one must first not failto subjugate the know- 
ing spirit. The way to subjugate it leads through the circulation 
of the Light. If one puts the circulation of the Light into practice, 
one must forget both body and heart. The heart must die, the 
spirit live. When the spirit lives, the breath will begin to circu- 
late in a wonderful way. This is what the Master called the best (5). 
Then the spirit must be allowed to dive down into the abdomen 
(solar-plexus). The power then mixes with the spirit, and the 
spirit unites with the power and becomes crystallized. This is 
the method of putting the hand to it. 

In time, the primordial spirit transforms itself in the dwelling 
of life into the true power. At that time, the method of the turning 
of the millwheel must be applied, in order to distil it so that it 
becomes the Elixir of Life. That is the method of concentrated 

When the Life-Elixir pearl is finished, the holy embryo can be 
formed ; then the work must be directed to the warming and 
nourishing of the spiritual embryo. That is the method of the 

When the power-body of the child is fully formed, the work 
must be so directed that the embryo is born and returns again to 
emptiness. That is the method of the releasing of the hand. 

From the most ancient times till to-day, this is not empty talk, 
but the sequence of the Great Meaning in the real method of pro- 
ducing an eternally living and immortal spirit and holy man. 

But if the work is so far successful, then all belonging to the 
dark principle is entirely destroyed, and the body born into pure 
light. When the conscious spirit has been transformed into the 
primordial spirit, then only can one say that it has attained an 
unending capacity for transformation, and departing from the 
cycle of births, has been brought to the six-fold (6) present, 
golden spirit. If this method of ennobling is not applied, how will 
the way of being born and dying be .escaped ? 


S. Circulation of the Light and Protection of the 


Master Lii Tzii said : Since when has the expression 
" circulation of the Light " been revealed ? It was 
revealed by the " True Men of the Beginning of Form " 
(Kuan Yin Hsi) (7). When the Light is allowed to move 
in a circle, all the powers of Heaven and Earth, of the 
Light and the Dark, are crystallized. That is what is 
described as seedlike, or purification of the power, or 
purification of the concept. When one begins to apply 
this magic, it is as if , in the middle of one's being, there 
were a non-being. When in the course of time the work 
is finished, and beyond the body there is another body, 
it is as if , in the middle of the non-being, there were a 
being. Only after a completed work of a hundred days will 
the Light be real, then only will it become spirit-fire. 
After a hundred days, there develops by itself in the 
middle of the Light, a point of the true Light-pole (yang). 
Suddenly there develops the seed pearl. It is as if man 
and woman embraced and a conception took place. 
Then one must be quite still in order to await it. The 
circulation of the Light is the epoch of fire. 

In the midst of primal becoming, the radiance of the 
Light (Yang Kuang) is the determining thing. In the 
physical world it is the sun; in man the eye. The 
emanation and dissemination of spiritual consciousness 
is chiefly brought about by this power when it is directed 
outward (flows downward). Therefore the meaning of the 
Golden Flower depends wholly on the backward-flowing 


Man's heart stands under the fire sign (8). The flames of the 
fire press upward. When both eyes are looking at things of the 
world it is with vision directed outward. Now if one closes the 
eyes and, reversing the glance, directs it inward and looks at the 
room of the ancestors, that is the backward-flowing method. The 
power of the kidneys is under the water sign. When the instincts 
are stirred, it runs downward, is directed outward, and creates 
children. If, in the moment of release, it is not allowed to flow 
outward but is led back by the force of thought so that it pene- 
trates the crucible of the creative and refreshes heart and body 
and nourishes them, that also is the backward-flowing method. 
Therefore it is said : The meaning of the Elixir of Life depends 
entirely on the backward-flowing method. 

Circulation of the Light is not only a circulation of the 
seed-blossom of the one body, but it is, in the first place, a 
circulation of the ' true, creative, formative powers. It 
has to do, not with a momentary fantasy, but with the 
exhaustion of the circular course (soul-wanderings) of 
all the aeons. Therefore a breath-pause means a year — 
according to human reckoning — and a hundred years 
measured by the long night of the Nine Paths (of re- 

After a man has the one tone of individuation (9) 
behind him, he will be born outward according to the 
circumstances, and not until he is old will he turn a single 
time to the backward-flowing way. .The force of the 
Light exhausts itself and trickles away. That brings the 
nine-fold darkness (of rebirths) into the world. In the 
book Leng Yen (10) it is said : By concentrating the 
thoughts, one can fly; by concentrating the desires, one 
falls. When a pupil takes little care of his thoughts and 
much care of his desires, he gets into the path of depravity. 
Only through contemplation and quietness does true 
intuition arise : for that, the backward-flowing method 
is necessary. 


In the book of the Secret Correspondences (11), it is 
said : Release is in the eye. In the Simple Questions 
of the Yellow Ruler (12) it is said : The seed-blossom 
of the human body must be concentrated upward in 
the empty space. That refers to it. Immortality is 
contained in this sentence and also the overcoming of 
the world is contained in it. That is the common goal 
of all religions. 

The Light is not in the body alone, neither is it only 
outside the body. Mountains and rivers and the great 
Earth are lit by sun and moon; all that is this Light. 
Therefore it is not only within the body. Understanding 
and clarity, knowing and enlightenment, and all motion 
(of the spirit), are likewise this Light ; therefore it is not 
just something outside the body. The Light-flower of 
Heaven and Earth fills all thousand spaces. But also the 
Light-flower of one body passes through Heaven and covers 
the Earth. Therefore, just as the Light is circulating, 
so Heaven and Earth, mountains and rivers, are all 
rotating with it at the same time. To concentrate the 
seed-flower of the human body above in the eyes, that is 
the great key of the human body. Children, take heed ! 
If for a day you do not practise meditation, this Light 
streams out, who knows whither ? If you only meditate 
for a quarter of an hour, you can set ten thousand aeons 
and a thousand births at rest. All methods take thei/ 
source in quietness. This marvellous magic cannot be 

But when the work is started, one must press on from 
the obvious to the profound, from the coarse to the fine. 
Everything depends on there being no interruption. The 
beginning and the end of the work must be one. In 
between there are cooler and warmer moments, that goes 
without saying. But the goal must be to reach the breadth 


of Heaven and the depths of the sea, so that all methods 
seem quite easy and taken for granted. Only then do we 
have it in hand. 

All holy men have bequeathed this to one another : 
nothing is possible without contemplation (fan chao, 
reflection). When Confucius says : Knowing brings one 
to the goal ; or when Buddha calls it : The view of the 
Heart ; or Lao Tzii says : Inward vision, it is all the 

Anyone can talk about reflection, but he cannot master 
it if he does not know what the word means. What has 
to be changed by reflection is the self-conscious heart, 
which has to direct itself toward that point where the 
formative spirit is not yet manifest. Within our 6 ft. 
body, we must strive for the form which existed before 
the laying down of Heaven and Earth. If to-day people 
sit and meditate only one or two hours, looking only at their 
own egos, and call it contemplation, how can any- 
thing come of it ? 

The two founders of Buddhism and Taoism have 
taught that one should look at the end of one's nose. 
But they did not mean that one should fasten one's 
thoughts to the end of the nose. Neither did they mean 
that, while the eyes were looking at the end of the nose, 
the thoughts should be concentrated on the yellow middle. 
f Wherever the eye looks, the heart is directed also. How 
can the glance be directed at the same time upward 
(yellow middle), and downward (end of the nose), or 
alternating, so that it is now up, now down ? All that 
means confusing the finger with which one points to the 
moon with the moon itself. 

What is really meant by this? The expression, 
" end of the nose," is very cleverly chosen. The nose 
must serve the eyes as a guiding line. If one is not 


guided by the nose, either one opens wide the eyes and 
looks into the distance, so that the nose is not seen, 
or the lids shut too much, so that the eyes close, and 
again the nose is not seen. But when the eyes are opened 
too wide, one makes the mistake of directing them out- 
ward, whereby one is easily distracted. If they are closed 
too much, then one makes the mistake of letting them 
turn inward, whereby one easily sinks into a dreamy 
reverie. Only when the eyelids are sunk properly half- 
way, is the end of the nose seen in just the right way. 
Therefore it is taken as a guiding line. The main thing is 
to lower the eye-lids in the right way, and then to allow 
the Light to stream in of itself, without trying to force 
the Light to stream in by a concentrated effort. Looking 
at the nose serves only as the beginning of the inner 
concentration, so that the eyes are brought into the right 
direction for looking, and then are held to the guiding 
line : after that, one can let it be. That is the way a mason 
hangs up a plumb-line. As soon as he has hung it up, 
he guides his work by it without continually bothering 
himself to look at the plumb-line. 

Fixating contemplation (13) is a Buddhist method 
which by no means has been handed down as a secret. 

One looks with both eyes at the- end of the nose, 
sits upright and in a comfortable position, and holds the 
heart to the centre in the midst of conditions (on the 6x66?" 
pole in the flight of phenomena). In Taoism it is called 
the yellow middle, in Buddhism the centre in the midst of 
conditions. The two are the same. It does not* necessarily 
mean the middle of the head. It is only a matter of fixing 
one's thinking on the point which lies exactly between the 
two eyes. Then all is well. The Light is something ex- 
tremely mobile. When one fixes the thought on the mid- 
point between the two eyes, the Light streams in of its 


own accord. It is not necessary to direct the attention 
especially to the central castle. In these few words the 
most important thing is contained. 

" The centre in the midst of conditions," is a very 
fine expression. The centre is omnipresent; everything 
is contained in it ; it is connected with the release of the 
whole process of creation. The condition is the portal. 
The condition, that is the fulfilment of this condition, 
makes the beginning, but it does not bring about the rest 
with inevitable necessity. The meaning of these two 
words is very fluid and subtle. 

Fixating contemplation is indispensable, it ensures the 
strengthening of illumination. Only one must not stay sitting 
rigidly if worldly thoughts come up, but one must examine 
where the thought is, where it began, and where it fades 
out. Nothing is gained by pushing reflection farther. One 
must be content to see where the thought arose, and not 
seek beyond the point of origin ; for to find the heart 
(consciousness), to get behind consciousness with con- 
sciousness—that cannot be done. We want to bring the 
states of the heart together in rest, that is true contempla- 
tion. What contradicts it is false contemplation. This 
leads to no goal. When the flight of thoughts keeps extend- 
ing farther, one should stop and begin contemplating. Let 
one contemplate and then start concentrating again. That 
is the double method of strengthening the iUumination. 
It means the circular course of the light. The circular 
course is fixation. The Light is contemplation. Fixation 
without contemplation is circulation without Light. Con- 
templation without fixation is light without circulation ! 
Take note of that! 

The general meaning of this section is that the protection of 
the centre is important for the circular course of the Light. The 
last section dealt with the theme that the human body is a very 


valuable possession when the primordial spirit is master. But 
when it is used by the conscious spirit, the latter brings it about 
that, day and night, the primordial spirit is scattered and wasted. 
When it is completely worn out, the body dies. The method is 
described whereby the conscious spirit can be subjected and the 
primordial spirit guarded ; that is impossible if one does not begin 
by making the Light circulate. It is like this : if a splendid house is 
to be built, a fine foundation must first be found. When the founda- 
tion is strong, then only can the work proceed and the base of the 
walls be deeply and solidly grounded, and the posts and walls 
built up. If a foundation is not laid in this way, how can the house 
be completed ? The way of cultivating life is exactly like that. 
The circulation of the Light is to be compared with the foundation 
of the building. When the foundation stands firm, how quickly 
it can be built upon ! To protect the yellow middle with the fire of 
the spirit, that is the work of building. Therefore the Master 
makes especially clear the method by which one enters in the cul- 
tivation of life, and bids people look with both eyes at the end of 
the nose, to lower the lids, to look within, sit quietly with upright 
body, and fix the heart on the centre in the midst of the conditions. 

Keeping the thoughts on the space between the two eyes 
allows the Light to penetrate. Thereupon, the spirit crystallizes 
and enters the centre in the midst of the conditions. The centre 
in the midst of the conditions is the lower Elixir-field, the place 
of power (solar plexus). 

The Master hinted at this secretly when he said : At the 
beginning of the work one must sit in a quiet room, the body like 
dry wood, the heart like cooled ashes. Let the lids of both eyes 
be lowered ; then look within and purify the heart, cleanse the^ 
thoughts, stop pleasures and conserve the seed. One should sit 
down daily to meditate with legs crossed. Let the light in the eyes 
be stopped ; let the hearing power of the ear be crystallized 
and the tasting power of the tongue diminished ; that is, the 
tongue should be laid to the roof of the mouth ; let the breathing 
through the nose be made rhythmical and the thoughts fixed on 
the dark door. If the breathing is not first made rhythmical it is 
to be feared that there will be difficulty in breathing, because of 
stoppage. When one closes the eyes, then one should take as a 
measure a point on the back of the nose which lies not half an inch 
below the intersection point of the line of sight, where there is a 


little bump on the nose. Then one begins to collect one's thoughts ; 
the ears make the breathing rhythmical ; body and heart are 
comfortable and harmonious. The Light of the eyes must shine 
quietly, and, for a long time, neither sleepiness nor distraction 
must set in. The eyes do not look outward, they drop their lids 
and light up what is within. There is Light in this place. The 
mouth does not speak nor laugh. One closes the lips and breathes 
inwardly. Breathing is at this place. The nose smells no odours. 
Smelling is at this place. The ear does not hear things outside. 
Hearing is at this place. The whole heart watches over what is 
within. Its watching is at this place. The thoughts do not 
stray outward ; true thoughts have continuity in themselves. If 
the thoughts are lasting, the seed is lasting ; if the seed lasts, the 
power lasts ; if the power lasts, then will the spirit last also. 
The spirit is thought ; thought is the heart ; the heart is the fire ; 
the fire is the Elixir. When one looks at what is within in this way, 
the wonders of the opening and shutting of the gates of Heaven 
will be inexhaustible* But the deeper secrets cannot be effected 
without making the breathing rhythmical. 

If the pupil begins and cannot hold his thoughts to the place 
between the two eyes ; if he closes the eyes, but the power of the 
heart does not enable him to look at the place of power, the cause 
is most probably the fact that the breathing is too loud and hasty. 
Other evils arise from this because body and heart are kept busy 
trying to suppress forcibly the uprush of power and quick breath. 

If the thoughts are only held to the two eyes, but the spirit is 
not crystallized in the solar plexus (the centre in the midst of the 
conditions), it is as if one had mounted to the hall but had not yet 
entered the inner chamber. Then the spirit-fire will not develop, the 
power remains cold, and the true fruit will hardly manifest itself. 

Therefore the Master harbours the fear lest, in their efforts, men 
only fix their thoughts on the place on the nose, but fail to think of 
fixing their ideas on the place of power ; that is why he used the 
comparison of the mason with the plumb-line. The mason only 
uses the plumb-line in order to see if his wall is perpendicular or 
slanting, and for this the string serves as a guiding line. When 
he has determined the direction, he can begin the work. But 
then he works on the wall, not on the plumb-line. That is clear. 
From this it is seen that fixing the thoughts between the eyes 
means only what the plumb-line does to the mason. The Master 


refers again and again to this because he fears his meaning might 
not be understood. And even if the pupils have grasped the way of 
doing the thing, he fears they might interrupt their work, and 
so he says several times : " Only after a hundred days of con- 
sistent work, only then is the Light real ; only then can one begin 
work with the spirit-fire," If one proceeds in a collected fashion, 
after a hundred days there develops spontaneously in the Light, 
a point of the real creative Light (yang). The pupils must examine 
that with sincere hearts. 

4. Circulation of the Light and Making the 

Breathing Rhythmical 

Master Lii Tzu said : The decision must be carried 
out with a whole heart, and, the result not sought for; 
the result will come of itself. In the first period of release 
there are chiefly two mistakes : — laziness, and distraction. 
But that can be remedied ; the heart must not enter into 
the breathing too completely. Breathing comes from the 
heart (14). What comes out of the heart is breath. When 
the heart stirs, there develops breath-power. Breath - 
power is originally transformed activity of the heart. 
When our hearts go very fast they imperceptibly pass into 
fantasies which are always accompanied by the drawing 
of a breath, because this inner and outer breathing hangs 
together like tone and echo. Daily we draw innumerable 
breaths and have an equal number of fantasy-representa- 
tions. And thus the clarity of the spirit is depleted just 
as wood dries out and ashes die. 

Should a man have no images in his mind ? One 
cannot be without images. Should one not breathe ? 
One cannot do without breathing. The best way is to 
make a cure out of the illness. Since heart and breath 


are mutually dependent, the circulation of the Light must 
be united with the rhythm of breathing. For this, Light 
of the ear is above all necessary. There is a Light of the 
eye and a Light of the ear. The Light of the eye is the 
united Light of the sun and moon outside. The Light of 
the ear is the united seed of sun and moon within. The 
seed is also the Light in crystallized form. Both have the 
same origin and are different only in name. Therefore, 
understanding (ear) and clarity (eye) are one and the same 
effective Light. 

In sitting down, after dropping the lids, one establishes 
a plumb-line with the eyes and shifts the Light downward. 
But if the transposition downward is not successful, 
then the heart is directed toward listening to the breathing. 
One should not be able to hear with the ear the out- 
going and intaking of the breath. What one hears is that 
it has no tone. As soon as it has tone, the breathing is 
rough and superficial, and does not penetrate into what 
is fine. Then the heart must be made quite light and 
insignificant. The more it is released, the less important 
it becomes ; the less important, the quieter. All at once 
it becomes so quiet that it stops. Then the true breathing 
is manifested and the form of the heart can be made 
conscious. When the heart is light, the breathing is 
light, for every movement of the heart brings about 
breathing power. If the breathing is light, the heart is 
light, for every movement of the breath affects the heart. 
In order to steady the heart, one begins by cultivating 
the breathing power. The heart cannot be influenced 
directly. Therefore the breathing power is used as a 
handle, and this is what is called protecting the collected 
breathing power. 

Children, do you not understand the nature of 
motion ? Motion can be produced by outside means. 


It is only another name for mastery. One can make 
the heart move merely by running. Should one not be 
able to bring it to rest then by concentrated quietness ? 
The great Holy Ones who knew how the heart and breath- 
ing power mutually influence one another, have thought 
out an easier procedure as a way of helping posterity. 

In the Book of the Elixir (15) it is said : The hen 
can hatch her eggs because her heart is always listening. 
That is an important magic spell. The reason the hen 
can hatch the eggs is because of the power to heat. But 
the power of the heat can only warm the shells ; it cannot 
penetrate into the interior. Therefore with her heart she 
conducts this power inward. This she does with her 
hearing. In this way she concentrates her whole heart. 
When the heart penetrates, the power penetrates, and the 
chick receives the power of the heat and begins to live. 
Therefore a hen, even when she has left her eggs, always 
has the attitude of listening with bent ear. Thus the con- 
centration of the spirit is not interrupted. Because the 
concentration of the spirit suffers no interruption, neither 
does the power of heat suffer interruption day or night, 
and the spirit awakes to life. The awakening of the spirit 
is accomplished because the heart has first died. When a 
man can let his heart die, then the primordial spirit wakes 
to life. To kill the heart does not mean to let it dry 
and wither away, but it means that it is undivided and 
gathered into one. 

Buddha said : When you fix your heart on one point, 
then nothing is impossible for you. The heart easily runs 
away, so it is necessary to gather it together by means of 
breathing power. Breathing power easily becomes coarse, 
therefore it has to be refined by the heart. When that is 
done, can it then happen that it is not fixed ? 

The two mistakes of laziness and distraction must 


be combated by quiet work that is carried on daily without 
interruption ; then results will certainly be achieved. 
If one is not seated during meditation, one will often be 
distracted without noticing it. To become conscious of 
the inattention is the mechanism by which to do away with 
inattention. Laziness of which a man is conscious; and 
laziness of which he is unconscious, are a thousand miles 
apart. Unconscious laziness is real laziness ; conscious 
laziness is not complete laziness, because there is still some 
clarity in it. Distraction comes from letting the spirit 
wander about; laziness comes from the spirit not yet 
being pure. Distraction is much easier to correct than lazi- 
ness. It is as in sickness : if one feels pains and itchings, 
one can help them with remedies, but laziness is like 
a disease that is attended by loss of feeling. Distraction 
can be overcome, confusion can be straightened out, 
but laziness and absent-mindedness are heavy and dark. 
Distraction and confusion at least have a place, but in 
laziness and absent-mindedness the anima alone is active. 
In inattention the animus is still present, but in laziness 
pure darkness rules. If one becomes sleepy during medita- 
tion, that is an effect of laziness. Breathing alone serves 
to remove laziness. Although the breath that flows in 
and out through the nose is not the true breath, the 
flowing in and out of the true breath is connected 
with it. 

While sitting, one must, therefore, always keep the 
heart quiet and the power concentrated. How can the 
heart be made quiet? By breathing. The heart alone 
must be conscious of the flowing in and out of the breath ; 
it must not be heard with the ears. If it is not heard, 
then the breathing is light ; if light, it is pure. If it can 
be heard, then the breathing power is heavy ; if heavy, 
then it is troubled ; if it is troubled, then laziness and 


absent-mindedness develop and one wants to sleep. That 
is self-evident. 

How to use the heart correctly during breathing 
must be understood. It is use without use. One need only 
let the Light fall quite gently on the hearing. This 
sentence contains a secret meaning. What does it mean 
to let the Light fall ? It is the radiance of the Light of 
one's own eyes. The eye looks inward only and not 
outward. To sense brightness without looking outward 
means to look inward ; it has nothing to do with an actual 
looking within. What does hearing mean ? It is hearing 
the Light of one's own ear. The ear listens only within and 
does not listen to what is outside. To sense brightness 
without listening to what is outside, is to listen to what is 
within ; it has nothing to do with actually listening to 
what is within. In this sort of hearing, one only hears that 
there is no sound ; in this kind of seeing, one only sees 
that no shape is there. If the eye is not looking outward 
and the ear is not harkening outward, they close themselves 
and are inclined to sink inward. Only when one looks 
and harkens inward does the organ not go outward nor 
sink inward. In this way laziness and absent-mindedness 
are done away with. That is the union of the seed and the 
Light of the sun and moon. 

If, as a result of laziness, one becomes sleepy, one 
should stand up and walk about. When the spirit has 
become clear one can sit down again. If there is time in 
the morning, one may sit during the burning of an incense 
candle, that is the best. In the afternoon, human affairs 
interfere and one can therefore easily fall into laziness. 
It is not necessary to have an incense candle. But one 
must lay aside all complications and sit quite still for u 
time. In the course of time there will be success without 
one's getting lazy and falling asleep. 


The chief thought of this part is that the most important thing 
about the circulation of the Light is making the breathing rhyth- 
mical. The further the work advances, the deeper becomes the 
teaching. The pupil must bring heart and breathing into relation- 
ship during the circulation of the Light in order to avoid the burden 
of laziness and distraction. The Master fears lest, during the 
seance, when the beginners have lowered their lids, confused 
fantasies may arise, because of which, the heart will begin to beat 
so that it is difficult to guide. Therefore he teaches the work of 
counting the breath and fixing the thoughts of the heart in order to 
prevent the power of the spirit from flowing outward. 

Because breath comes out of the heart, unrhythmical breath- 
ing comes from the heart's unrest. Therefore one must breathe 
in and out quite softly so that it remains inaudible to the ear, 
and only the heart quietly counts the breaths. When the heart 
forgets the number of breaths, that is a sign that the heart has 
gone off into the outer world. Then one must hold the heart 
steadfast. If the ear does not listen attentively, or the eyes do 
not look at the back of the nose, it often happens that the heart 
runs off outside, or that sleep comes. That is a sign that the con- 
dition is going over into confusion and absent-mindedness, and 
the seed-spirit must be brought into order again. If, in lowering 
the lids and taking direction from the nose, the mouth is not 
tightly closed and the teeth are not clenched firmly together, 
it can easily happen that the heart hastens outward ; then one 
must close the mouth quickly and clench the teeth together. The 
five senses order themselves according to the heart, and the spirit 
must call the breathing-power to aid, in order that heart and breath 
are harmonized. In this way there is need at most of daily work 
of a few quarter-hours for heart and breathing to come of them- 
selves into the right sort of collaboration and harmony. Then 
one need no longer count and breathing becomes rhythmical of 
its own accord. When the breathing is rhythmical the mistakes 
of laziness and distraction disappear of their own accord. 


5. Mistakes During the Circulation of the Light 

Master Lii Tzu said : Your work will gradually draw 
itself together and mature, but before you reach the con- 
dition in which you sit like a withered tree before a cliff, 
there are many other possibilities of error which I would 
like to bring to your special attention. These conditions 
are only recognized when they have been personally 
experienced. I will enumerate them here. My school 
differs from the Buddhist yoga school (Chao Tsung) (16), 
in that it has confirmatory signs for each step of the way. 
First I would like to speak of the mistakes and then of the 
confirmatory signs. 

When one sets out to carry out one's decision, care 
must be taken to see that everything can proceed in a 
comfortable, easy manner. Too much must not be de- 
manded of the heart. One must be careful that, quite 
automatically, heart and power correspond to one another. 
Only then can a state of quietness be attained. During 
this quiet state the right conditions and the right place 
must be provided. One must not sit down (to meditate) 
in the midst of frivolous affairs. That is to say, one must 
not have any vacuities in the mind. All entanglements 
must be put aside and one must be supreme and in- 
dependent. Nor must the thoughts be directed toward the 
right procedure. If too much trouble is taken there* is 
danger of doing this. I do not mean that no trouble 
is to be taken, but the right behaviour lies in the middle 
way between being and non-being. If one can attain 
purposelessness through purpose, then the thing has been 
grasped. Supreme and without confusion, one goes along 
in an independent way. Furthermore, one must not fall 
victim to the ensnaring world. The ensnaring world is 
where the five kinds of dark demons disport themselves. 


This is the case, for example, when, after fixation, 
one has chiefly thoughts of dry wood and dead ashes, 
and few thoughts of the resplendent spring on the great 
earth. In this way one sinks into the world of darkness. 
The power is cold there, breathing is heavy, and many 
images of coldness and decay display themselves. If 
one tarries there long one enters the world of plants 
and stones. 

Nor must a man be led astray by the ten thousand 
ensnarements. This happens if, after the quiet state 
has begun, one after another all sorts of ties suddenly 
appear. One wants to break through them and cannot ; 
one follows them, and feels relieved by this. This means 
the master has become a servant. If a man tarries in this 
state long he enters the world of illusory desires. 

At best, one goes to Heaven ; at the worst, one goes 
among the fox-spirits (17). Such a fox-spirit might also 
occupy himself in the famous mountains enjoying the wind 
and the moon, the flowers and fruits, and taking his 
pleasure in coral trees and jewelled grass. But after 
he has been occupied thus for three to five hundred years, 
or at the most, for a couple of thousand years, his reward 
is over and he is born again into the world of turmoil. 

All of these are wrong paths. When a man knows 
the wrong paths, he can then inquire into the confirma- 
tory signs. 

The meaning of this section (18) is to call attention to the 
wrong paths of meditation so that one can enter the place of power 
instead of the cave of fantasy. This is the world of demons. 
This, for example, is the case if one sits down to meditate, and sees 
light flames or bright colours appear, or if one sees Bodhisatvas 
and gods approach, or any other similar fantasies. Or, if one is not 
successful in uniting power and breathing, if the water of the 
kidneys cannot rise, but presses downward, the primordial power 
becomes .cold and the breathing heavy. Then the gentle light 


powers of the great Earth are too few, and the empty fantasy- 
world is entered. Or, when one has sat a long time, ideas rise up 
in crowds and one tries to stop them, but it cannot be done ; one 
submits to being driven by them and feels easier. When this 
happens, one must under no circumstances go on with medita- 
tion but must get up and walk around a little while until heart 
and power are again in unison ; only then can one return to medita- 
tion. In meditating, a man must have a sort of conscious intuition, 
so that he feels power and breathing unite in the field of the 
Elixir ; he must feel that a warm release belonging to the true 
Light begins to stir dimly. Then he has found the right place. 
When this right place has been found, one is released from the 
danger of getting into the world of illusory desire or dark demons. 

6. Confirmatory Experiences during the Circula- 
tion of the Light 

Master Lii Tzu said : There are many kinds of con- 
firmatory experiences. One must not content oneself with 
small demands but must rise to the thought that all 
living creatures have to be freed. It is not permissible to 
be trivial and irresponsible in heart. One must strive to 
. make deeds prove one's words. 

If, when there is quiet, the spirit has continuously 
and uninterruptedly a sense of great gaiety as if intoxicated 
or freshly bathed, it is a sign that the Light principle in 
Hhe whole bodv is harmonious ; then the Golden Flower 
begins to bud. When, furthermore, all openings are quiet, 
and the silver moon stands in the middle of Heaven, and 
one has the f eeling that the great Earth is a world of light 
*and brilliancy, that is a sign that the body of the heart 
opens itself to clarity. It is a sign that the Golden Flower 
is opening. 

Furthermore, the whole body feels strong and firm 
so that it fears neither storm nor frost. Things by which 

54 .j&0 

other men are displeased, when I meet them, cannot 
cloud the brightness of the seed of the spirit. Yellow 
gold fills the house ; the steps are white jade. Rotten 
and stinking things on Earth that come in contact with 
one breath of the true power will immediately live again. 
Red blood becomes milk. The fragile body of the flesh is 
sheer gold and diamonds. That is a sign that the Golden 
Flower is crystallized. 

The Book of Successful Contemplation (Ying Kuan 
Ching) says : The sun sinks in the Great Water and 
magic pictures of trees in rows arise. The setting of 
the sun means that in Chaos (in the world before 
phenomena, that is, the intelligible world), a foundation 
is laid : that is the condition free of opposites (wu chi). 
Highest good is like water, pure and spotless. It is the 
ruler of the Great Polarity, the god who is revealed in the 
sign for that which greatly disturbs, ChSn (19). Chen 
is also symbolized by wood, wherefore the image of trees 
in rows appears. A sevenfold row of trees means the 
light of the seven body-openings (or heart-openings). 
In the north-west is the direction of the creative. When 
it moves on one place farther, the abysmal is there. 
The sun which sinks into the Great Water is the image 
for the creative and abysmal. The abysmal is the direction 
of midnight (mouse, Tzu x north). At the winter solstice 
the thunder (Chin) is in the middle of the Earth quite 
hidden and covered up. Only when the sign Chin is 
reached, does the Light-pole come over the earth again. 
That is the picture representing the row of trees. The 
rest can be correspondingly inferred. 

The second part refers to the building of the founda- 
tion on this. The great world is like ice, a glassy world 
of jewels. The brilliancy of the Light is gradually 
crystallized. That is why a great terrace arises and upon 


it, in the course of time, Buddha appears. When the 
Golden Being appears who should it be but Buddha ? 
For Buddha is the Golden Saint of the Great Enlighten- 
ment. This is a great confirmatory experience. 

Now there are three confirmatory experiences which 
can be tested. The first is that, when one has entered 
the state of meditation, the gods (20) are in the valley. 
Men are heard talking as though at a distance of several 
hundred paces, each one quite clear. But the sounds 
are all like an echo in a valley. One can always hear them, 
but never oneself. This is called the presence of the 
gods in the valley. 

At times the following can be experienced : as soon 
as one is quiet, the Light of the eyes begins to blaze up, 
so that everything before one becomes quite bright as 
if one were in a cloud. If one opens one's eyes and 
seeks the body, it is not to be found any more. This is 
called : In the empty chamber it grows light. Inside and 
outside, everything is equally light. "That is a very 
favourable sign. Or, when one sits in meditation, the 
fleshly body becomes quite shining like silk or jade. It 
seems difficult to remain sitting ; one feels as if drawn 
upward. This is called : The spirit returns and pushes 
against Heaven. In time, one can experience it in such 
a way that one really floats upward. 

And now it is possible to leave all three of these 
experiences. But not everything ean be expressed. 
Different things appear to each person according to his 
gifts. If one experiences these things, it is a sign of a 
good aptitude. With these things it is just as it is when 
one drinks water. One can tell for oneself whether the 
water is warm or cold. In the same way a man must 
convince himself about these experiences, then only are 
they real. 


7. The Living Manner of the Circulation of the 


Master Lii Tzu said : When there is gradual success 
in producing the circulation of the Light, a man must 
not give up his ordinary occupation in doing it. The 
ancients said : When occupations come to us, we must 
accept them ; when things come to us, we must understand 
them from the ground up. If the occupations are regulated 
by correct thoughts, the Light is not scattered by outside 
things, but circulates according to its own law. Even 
the still-invisible circulation of the Light gets started this 
way, how much more then is it the case with the true 
circulation of the Light which has already manifested 
itself clearly. When in ordinary life one has the ability 
always to react to things by reflexes only, without any 
admixture of a thought of others or of oneself, that is 
a circulation of the Light arising out of circumstances. 
It is the first secret. 

If, early in the morning, a man can rid himself of all 
entanglements and meditate from one to two double 
hours, and then can orientate himself toward all activities 
and outside things in a purely objective, reflex way, and 
if this can be continued without any interruption, then 
after two or three months, all the perfected Ones come 
from Heaven and sanctify such behaviour. 

The preceding section deals with the blissful fields that are 
entered when one succeeds in the work. The aim of this part is to 
show the pupils how they must shape their work more finely day 
by day so that they can hope for an early attainment of the Elixir 
of Life. How does it happen that the Master just here speaks 
of the fact that a man ought not to give up his calling in life as a 
citizen ? It might be thought from this that the Master wanted 
to prevent the pupil from attaining the Elixir of Life quickly. 
He who knows replies to this : Not at all ! The Master is concerned 


lest the pupil may not have fulfilled his karma, therefore he speaks 
in this way. Now if the work has led into the blissful fields, the 
heart is like the reflecting surface of water. When things come, it 
mirrors- things ; when they go, spirit and power spontaneously 
unite and do not allow themselves to be carried away by outside 
things. That is what the Master means when he says : Every 
interference of the thought with other people and with oneself 
must be completely given up. When the pupil succeeds in con- 
centrating with true thoughts on the place of power, he does not 
have to start the Light circulating, and the Light circulates by 
itself. But when the Light circulates, the Elixir is made spon- 
taneously, and the performance of worldly tasks at the same time 
is not a hindrance. It is different at the beginning of the work of 
meditation when spirit and power are still scattered and confused. 
If worldly affairs cannot then be kept at a distance, and a quiet 
place found where one can concentrate with all one's power, and 
thus avoid all disturbances from ordinary occupations, then one is 
perhaps industrious in the morning and certainly lazy in the 
evening. How long would it take in this way till a man attained to 
the real secrets ? Therefore it is said : When one begins to apply 
the work, one should put aside household affairs. And, if that is 
not wholly possible, someone ought to be engaged to look after 
them, so that one can take pains with complete attention. But 
when the work is so far advanced that secret confirmations are 
experienced, it does not matter if, at the same time, the ordinary 
affairs are put in order, so that one can fulfil one's karma. This 
means the living manner of the circulation of the Light. Long 
Ago, the true man of the purple Polar-Light (Tzu-yang Chen Jen), 
made a saying : When a man lives in contact with the world, 
and yet still in harmony with the Light, then the round is round 
and the angular has angles ; then he lives among men concealed, 
yet visible, different, and yet the same, and none can compass it ; 
then no one takes note of our secret life and being. The living 
manner of the circulation of the Light has just this meaning : To 
live in contact with the world and yet in harmony with the Light. 


8. A Magic Spell for the Far Journey 

Master Lii Tzii said : Yii Ch'ing has left behind him 
a magic spell for the Far Journey : 

" Four words crystallize the spirit in the place of power. 
In the sixth month the white snow is suddenly seen to fly. 
At the third watch the disk of the sun sends out shining rays. 
On the water blows the wind of gentleness. 
Wandering in Heaven, one eats the spirit-power of the receptive. 
And the deeper secret within the secret : 
The land that is nowhere, that is the true home . . . . " 

These verses are full of mystery. The meaning is : 
The most important thing in the Great Meaning is the 
four words : non-aetion in action. Non-action prevents 
a man from becoming entangled in form and image (sub- 
stantiality). Action in non-action prevents a man from 
sinking into numbing emptiness and a dead nothingness. 
The effect depends entirely on the central One ; the freeing 
of the effect is in the two eyes. The two eyes are like 
the pole of the Great Wain which turns the whole of 
creation ; they cause the poles of Light and Darkness to 
rotate. The Elixir depends from beginning to end on 
the One ; the metal in the middle of the water, that is, 
the lead in the water-region. Heretofore we have spoken 
of the circulation of the Light, indicating thereby the 
initial release which works from without upon what lies 
within. This is to aid one in obtaining the Master. It is 
for the pupils in the beginning stages. They go through 
the two lower transitions in order to gain the upper one. 
After the sequence of events is clear and the nature of 
the release is known, Heaven no longer withholds the 
Meaning, but reveals the ultimate truth. Disciples ! 
keep it secret and hold to it strictly ! 

The circulation of the Light is the inclusive term. 


The further the work advances, the more can the Golden 
Flower bloom. But there is a still more marvellous 
kind of circulation. Till now we have worked from the 
outside on what is within ; now we tarry in the centre and 
rule what is external. Hitherto, it was a service in aid 
of the Master ; now it is a dissemination of the commands 
of this Master. The whole relationship is now reversed. 
If one wants to penetrate the more delicate regions by 
this method, one must first see to it that body and heart 
are completely controlled, that one is quite free and at 
peace, letting go of all entanglements, untroubled by the 
slightest excitement, with the Heavenly Heart exactly 
in the middle. Then let one lower the lids of the two 
eyes as if one received a holy edict, a summons to the 
minister. Who would dare disobey ? Then one illumines 
the house of the abysmal (water, K'an) with both eyes. 
Wherever the Golden Flower appears, the true Light of 
polarity goes out to meet it. The principle of that which 
adheres to (lightness, Li), is light outside and dark 
within ; it is the body of the creative. Darkness enters 
and becomes master. The result is that the heart 
(consciousness), becomes dependent on things, is directed 
outward, and is tossed about on the stream. When the 
rotating Light shines within the heart, it does not become 
dependent on things, the power of the Dark is limited, 
and the Golden Flower shines with concentration. It is 
then the collected Light of polarity. Things which are 
related attract each other. Thus the polarity Light- 
line of the abysmal presses upward. It is not only the 
Light in the abyss, but it is creative Light meeting 
creative Light. As soon as these two substances meet 
each other, they unite inseparably, and unceasing life 
begins ; it conies and goes, rises and falls of itself, in the 
house of the primordial power. One is aware of effulgence 


and infinity. The whole body feels lighter and would 
like to flv. This is the state of which it is said : Clouds 
fill the thousand mountains. Gradually it [life] goes here 
and there quite quietly ; it rises and falls imperceptibly. 
The pulse stands still and breathing stops. This is the 
moment of true creative unity, the state of which it is 
said : The moon gathers up the ten thousand waters. 
In the midst of this darkness, the Heavenly Heart suddenly 
begins a movement. This is the return of the one Light, 
the time when the child comes to life. 

But the details of this must be carefully explained. 
When a person looks at something, listens to something, 
eyes and ears move and follow the things until they have 
passed. These movements are all underlings, and when 
the Heavenly ruler follows them in their tasks, it means : 
To live together with demons. 

If now, during every movement and every moment 
of rest, a person lives together with people and not with 
demons, then the Heavenly ruler is the true man. 
When he moves and we move with him, the movement is 
the root of Heaven. When he is quiet and we are quiet 
with him, this quietness is the cave of the moon. When 
he continues to alternate movement and quietness, one 
ought to go on with him unceasingly in movement and 
quietness. If he rises and falls with inhaling and exhaling, 
we must rise and fall with him. That is what is called 
going to and fro between the root of Heaven and the cave 
of the moon. 

When the Heavenly Heart still preserves calm, move- 
ment before the right time is a fault of softness. When 
the Heavenly Heart has already moved, the movement 
that follows afterwards, corresponding with it, is a fault 
of rigidity. As soon as the Heavenly Heart is stirring, 
one must immediately mount with all one's feeling to the 

c * 61 , 

house of the creative. Thus the Light of the spirit sees 
the summit that is the leader. This movement is in 
accord with the time. The Heavenly Heart rises to the 
summit of the creative, where it expands in complete 
freedom. Then suddenly it wants the deepest silence, 
and one must lead it speedily and with one's whole being 
into the yellow castle. Thus the eyes behold the central 
yellow dwelling place of the spirit. 

When the desire for silence comes, not a single thought 
arises ; he who is looking inward suddenly forgets that 
he looks. At this time, body and heart must be left 
completely free. All entanglements disappear without 
trace. Then I no longer know at what place the house 
of my spirit and my crucible are. If a man wants to make 
certain of his body, he cannot get at it. This condition 
is the penetration of Heaven into Earth, the time when all 
wonders return to their roots. 

The One is the circulation of the Light. If one begins, 
it is at first scattered and one tries to collect it ; the six 
senses are not active. This is the care and nourishment 
of one's own origin, the filling up of the oil when one 
goes to receive life. When, one is far enough to have 
gathered it, one feels light and free and need take no 
further trouble. This is the quieting of the spirit in the 
space of the ancestors, the taking possession of former 

When one is so far advanced that every shadow and 
every echo has disappeared, so that one is quite quiet and 
firm, it is safe within the cave of power, where all that 
is miraculous returns to its roots. The {dace is noi 
changed but divides itself. It is incorporeal space where 
a thousand and ten thousand places are one place. The 
time is not changed, but divides itself. It is immeasurable 
time when all the aeons are like a moment. 


As long as the heart has not attained complete peace, 
it cannot move itself. One moves the movement and 
forgets the movement ; this is not movement in itself. 
Therefore it is said : If, when stimulated by external 
things, one is moved, it is the instinct of the being. If, 
when not stimulated by external things, one is moved, 
it is the movement of Heaven. The being that is placed 
over against Heaven, can fall and come under the domina- 
tion of the instincts. The instincts are based upon the 
fact that there are external things. They are thoughts 
that go on beyond their own position. Then movement 
leads to movement. But, when no idea arises, the right 
ideas come. That is the true idea. If things are quiet 
and one is quite firm, the release of Heaven suddenly 
moves. Is this not a movement without purpose ? Action 
in inaction has the same meaning. 

As to the beginning of the poem, the two first lines 
refer entirely to the activity of the Golden Flower. The 
two next lines are concerned with the mutual inter- 
penetration of sun and moon. The sixth month is the 
adhering (Li) fire. The white snow that flies, is the true 
darkness of polarity in the middle of the fire sign, that is 
about to turn into the receptive. The third watch is 
the abysmal (K'an) water. The sun's disk is the one 
polar line in the sign for water, which is about to turn 
into the creative. In this is contained the way to take 
the sign for the abysmal and the way to reverse the sign 
for the adhering (fire Li). The following two lines have 
to do with the activity of the pole of the Great Wain, the 
rise and fall of the whole release of polarity. Water is 
the sign of the abysmal ; the eye is the wind of softness 
(Sun). The light of the eyes illumines the house of the 
abysmal, and controls there the seed of the great Light. 
" In Heaven " means the house of the creative (Ch'ien). 


*' Wandering, in Heaven, one eats the spirit-power of the 
receptive." This shows how the spirit penetrates the 
power, and how Heaven penetrates the Earth ; this 
happens so that the fire can be nourished. 

Finally, the two last lines point to the deepest secret 
which cannot be dispensed with from the beginning to the 
end. It is the washing of the heart and the purification 
of the thoughts ; it is the bath. The holy science takes 
as a beginning the knowledge of where to stop, and as 
an end, stopping at the highest good. Its beginning is 
beyond polarity and it empties again beyond polarity. 

Buddha speaks of the transient, the creator of 
consciousness, as being the fundamental truth of religion. 
And, in our Taoism, the expression " to produce 
emptiness " contains the whole work of completing life 
and essence. All three religions agree in the one proposi- 
tion, the finding of the spiritual Elixir in order to pass 
from death to life. In what does this spiritual Elixir 
consist ? It means forever tarrying in purposelessness. 
The deepest secret in our teaching, the secret of the bath, 
is confined to the work of making the heart empty. There- 
with the heart is set at rest. What I have revealed here 
in a word is the fruit of decades of effort. 

If you are not yet clear as to how far all three parts 
can be present in one part, I will make it clear to you 
through the threefold Buddhist contemplation about 
emptiness, delusion, and the centre. 

Emptiness comes as the first of the three contempla- 
tions. All things are looked upon as empty. Then follows 
delusion. Although it is known that they are empty, 
things are not destroyed, but a man attends to his affairs 
in the midst of the emptiness. But though one does not 
destroy things, neither does one pay attention to them ; 
this is contemplation of the centre. While practising 


contemplation of the empty, one also knows that one 
cannot destroy the ten thousand things, and still one 
does not notice them. In this way the three contempla- 
tions fall together. But, after all, strength is in visioning 
the empty. Therefore, when one practises contemplation 
of emptiness, emptiness is certainly empty, but delusion 
is empty also, and the centre is empty. It needs a great 
strength to practise contemplation of delusion ; then 
delusion is really delusion, but emptiness is also delusion, 
and the centre is also delusion. Being on the way of the 
centre, one also creates images of the emptiness, but they 
are not called empty, but are called central. One practises 
also contemplation of delusion, but one does not call it 
delusion, one calls it central. As to what has to do with 
the centre, more need not be said. 

This section mentions first Yu Ch'ing's magical charm for the 
Far Journey. The magical charm states that the secret wonder of 
the Meaning is the developing of something out of nothing. In 
that spirit and power unite in crystallized form, there appears, 
in the course of time, in the middle of the emptiness of nothing, 
a point of the true fire. During this time, the more quiet the spirit 
becomes, the brighter is the fire. The brilliance of the fire is 
compared with the sun's heat in the sixth month. Because the 
blazing fire causes the water of the abysmal to vaporize, the stean? 
is heated, and when it has passed the boiling point, it mounts 
upward like flying snow. It is meant by this that snow is seen to 
fly in the sixth month. But because the water is vaporized by the 
fire, the true power is awakened ; yet, when Darkness is at rest, 
light begins to move ; it is like midnight. Therefore adepts 
call this time the time of the living midnight. At this time, one 
works at the power with the purpose of making it rise and flow 
backward, and fall, flowing downward, like the turning of the wheel 
of the rising sun. Therefore it is said : At the third watch, the 
disk of the sun sends out shining rays. 1Ehe rotation method 
makes use of breathing to blow on the fire of the gates of life : in this 
way the ferae power is successfully brought to its original place. 
Therefore it is said that the wind blows on the water. Out of the 


single power of former Heaven, there develops the out- and the 
in-going breath of later Heaven and its power to set aflame. 

The way leads from the sacrum upward in a backward- 
flowing manner to the summit of the creative, and on through 
the house of the creative ; then it sinks through two stories in a 
downward-flowing way into the solar plexus, and warms it. There- 
fore it is said : Wandering in Heaven, one eats the spirit-power 
of the receptive. Because the true power goes back into the 
empty place, in time, power and form become rich and full ; body 
and heart become glad and cheerful. If, by the work of the turning 
of the Wheel of the Doctrine, this cannot be achieved, how other- 
wise should one be able to enter upon this Far Journey ? What it 
amounts to is this : The crystallized spirit flows back to the spirit- 
fire, and by means of the greatest quiet, one fans the " fire in the 
middle of the water ", which is in the middle of the cave. There- 
fore it is said : And the deeper secret within the secret : the 
Land that is nowhere, that is the true home. 

The pupil has penetrated in his work into mysterious territory ; 
but, if he does not know the method of melting, it is to be feared 
that the Elixir of Life will not be produced. Therefore the Master 
has revealed the secret strictly guarded by the former holy men. 
When the pupil keeps the crystallized spirit fixed within the cave 
of power, and, at the same time, lets greatest quietness hold sway, 
then out of the obscure darkness, a something develops out of the 
nothingness, that is, the Golden Flower of the Great One appears. 
At this time the conscious Light is differentiated from the Light 
of the essence. Therefore it is said : To move when stimulated 
by external things, leads to its going downward and outward and 
creating a man. That is conscious Light. If, at the time the true 
power has been copiously gathered together, the pupil does not 
let it flow downward and outward, but allows it to flow backward, 
that is the Light of Life ; the method of the turning of the water- 
wheel must be used. If one continues to turn, the true power 
returns to the roots, drop by drop. Then the water-wheel stops, 
the body is clean, the power is fresh. One single turning means 
one Heavenly cycle, that which Master Chiu has called a small 
Heavenly cycle. If one does not wait to use the power until it 
has been collected sufficiently, it is then too tender and weak, and 
the Elixir is not formed. If the power is there and not used, then it 
becomes too old and rigid, and also the Elixir of Life will hardly be 


produced. When it is neither too old nor too tender, then is the 
right time to use it with intention. This is what Buddha means 
when he says : The phenomenon flows into emptiness. This 
is the sublimation of the seed into power. If the pupil does not 
understand this principle, and lets the power stream away down- 
ward, then the power forms into seed ; this is what is meant when 
it is said : Emptiness finally flows into the phenomenon. But 
every man who unites bodily with a woman feels pleasure first 
and then bitterness ; when the seed has flowed out, the body is 
tired and the spirit languid. It is quite different when the adept 
lets spirit and power unite. That brings first purity and then 
freshness ; when the seed is transformed, the body is healthy and 
free. There is a tradition that the old Blaster P'eng grew to be 880 
years old because he made use of serving maids to nourish his life, 
but that is a misunderstanding. In reality, he used the method of 
sublimation of spirit and power. In the Elixirs of Life symbols are 
generally used, and in them the adhering fire (Li) is frequently 
compared to a bride, and the water of the abyss to the boy (puer 
aeternus). From this arose the misunderstanding about Master 
P'eng having restored his virility through femininity. These are 
mistakes that have forced their way in later. 

But adepts can only use the means of overthrowing the 
abysmal and the adhering (Li) when their purposes are sincerely 
in the work, otherwise a pure mixture is not produced. The true 
purpose is subject to the Earth. The colour of the Earth is yellow ; 
therefore in books on the Life Elixir, it is symbolized by the 
yellow germ. When the abysmal and the adhering (Li) unite, 
the Golden Flower appears ; the golden colour is white, and there- 
fore white snow is used as a symbol. But worldly people who do 
not understand the secret words of the books of the Life Elixir, 
have misunderstood yellow and white in that they have taken it 
as a means of making gold out of stones. Is not that foolish ? 

An ancient adept said : Formerly, every school knew this 
jewel, only fools did not know it wholly. If we reflect on this we 
see that the ancients really attained long life by the help of the* 
seed-power present in their own bodies, and did not lengthen their 
years by swallowing this or that sort of elixir. But worldly people 
lose the roots and cling to the tree-tops. The Book of the 
Elixir also says : When the right man (white magician) makes 
use of wrong means, the wrong means work in the right way. 


By this is meant the transformation of seed into power. " But if 
the wrong man uses the right means, the right means work in the 
wrong way." By this is meant the bodily union of man and 
woman from which spring sons and daughters. The fool wastes the 
most precious jewel of his body in uncontrolled pleasure, and does 
not know how to conserve the power of his seed. When it is finished, 
the body perishes. The Holy and Wise men have no other way of 
taking care of their lives except by destroying lusts and safe- 
guarding the seed. The seed that is conserved is transformed into 
power, and the power, when there is enough of it, makes the 
creatively strong body. The difference shown by ordinary people 
depends only upon how they apply the downward-flowing way or 
the backward-flowing way. 

The whole meaning of this section is directed toward making 
clear to the pupil the method of the filling up the oil in meeting life, 
f Here the eyes are the chief thing. The two eyes are the handle of the 
polar constellation. Just as Heaven turns about the polar star as a 
centre point, so the right intention must be the master. 
Therefore the completion of the Life Elixir depends entirely on the 
harmonizing of the right intention. Then, if it is said that the 
foundation can be laid in a hundred days, first of all the degree 
of industry in work must be taken into account, and the degree 
of strength in the physical constitution. Whoever is eager in the 
work, and has a strong constitution, succeeds more quickly in 
turning back the water wheel of the river. When a person has 
found the method of making thoughts and power harmonize with 
one another, he can complete the Elixir within a hundred days. 
But whoever is weak and lazy will not produce it even after the 
hundred days. When the Elixir is completed, spirit and power are 
pure and clear ; the heart is empty,' the essence manifest, 
and the light of consciousness transforms . itself into the 
Light of the essence. If the Light of the essence is held per- 
manently, the abysmal and the adhering (fire Li) have intercourse 
spontaneously. When the abysmal and the fire mix, the holy 
fruit is borne. The ripening of the holy fruit is the effect of a great 
Heavenly cycle. Further elucidation stops with the method of 
the Heavenly cycle. 

This book is concerned with the cultivation of life and shows 
at first how one takes hold of it by looking at the bridge of one's 
nose. The method of making firm and letting go is in another 
book, the Hsu Ming Fang (Methods of Prolonging Life). 



1. This commentary probably comes from the seventeenth 
or eighteenth century. 

2. Ling Yen is the Buddhist Lankavatarasutra. 

3. Heaven, earth, hell. 

4. Light is meant here as a world-principle, the positive pole, 
not as light that shines. 

5. The four stages of re-birth are characterized here... The 
re-birth (out of water and spirit), is the development of the 
pneumatic body within the perishable body of the flesh. In this 
there is shown a relationship to the thoughts of Paul and John. 

6. The five-fold present spirit into which the good man is 
transformed in his dark strivings at his death, is limited to the 
region of the five senses, and is therefore still imprisoned on this 
earth. Re-birth effects his transition into the sixth, the spiritual 

7. A pupil of Lao Tzu. 

8. The two psychic poles are here contrasted with one 
another. They are represented as logos (heart, consciousness), to 
be found under the fire sign, and eros (kidneys, sexuality), under 
the water sign. The " natural " man lets both these forces work 
outwardly (intellect and the process of procreation), and in this 
way they " stream out " and are consumed. The adept turns 
them inward and brings them together, whereby they fertilize one 
another and thus produce a psychically red-blooded, and therefore 
strong, life of the spirit. 

9. The character "Ao", translated by "individuation" 
is written with the symbol for " power ", inside an " enclosure *\ 
Thus it means the form of the entelechy imprinted in the monad. 
It is the loosening of a unit of power and the veiling of it with the 
seed-powers that lead to incarnation. The process is represented 
as connected with a sound. Empirically it coincides with con- 
ception. From that time on, there takes place an ever-advancing 
" development ", " unfolding ", until birth brings the individual 
to light. From then it continues automatically farther till the 
power is exhausted and death ensues. 

10. Lankoatdrasutra, Buddhist sutra. 

11. Yin Fu Ching, Taoist sutra, 

12. Su Win, a Taoist work of a later time which purports to 
come from the mythical ruler Huang Ti. 

18. Hie method of fixating contemplation (CMh Kuan), is 


the meditation method of the Buddhist T'ien T'ai school. It 
alternates between the fixation of the thoughts by breathing 
practices, and contemplation. In the following, some of its 
methods are taken over. The " conditions " are the " circum- 
stances ", the " environment ", which, in conjunction with the 
** causes " (yin), start the rotation of the illusion. In the " centre 
of the conditions *', there is, quite literally, the " fixed pole in 
the flight of phenomena ". 

14. The Chinese character for " breath " (hsi) is made up 
of the character tzic "of", "self", and the character hsin 
" heart ", " consciousness ". It can also be interpreted as 
" coming from the heart ", but, at the same time, it describes the 
condition in which " the heart is at one with itself ", i.e. quietness. 

15. A secret book of the sects of the golden life-pill. 

16. In Japanese, Zen. 

17. According to Chinese folk-lore, foxes can also cultivate 
the Life-Elixir; they thus attain the capacity of transforming 
themselves into human beings. They correspond to the nature 
demons of Western mythology. 

18. This section shows plainly a Buddhist influence. The 
temptation mentioned here consists in one's being impelled by 
these fantasies to take them as real, and to succumb to them. 
(Compare the scene where Mephistopheles puts Faust to sleep by 
means of his demon.) 

19. Compare the I Cking, section Shuo Kua (the Signs). 
Chin is the sign for thunder, spring, east, wood. The creative, 
Heaven, in this division, is in the north-west. The abysmal is 
in the north. 

K'an , the abysmal Water, 
the moon 


, the creative , 
Heaven . 


Ken " keeping qu Jel, 
the mountain,stilIr 

Tu]_, seranily, 

lake, mi sh 

K'lin the receptive, 


E Chin , that vThich greatly 
disturbs, Wood, 

Li, fire , light, 

Sun , gentleness, wind 
the penetrating 

20. Compare Lao Tzu, Too TB Ching, section 6. 


Summary x of the Chinese Concepts on which is based the idea of the 
" Golden Flower " or Immortal " Body ". 

Tao the undivided, Great One, gives rise to two opposite 
reality principles, Darkness and Light, yin and yang. These are 
at first thought of only as forces of nature apart from man. Later, 
the sexual polarities and others as well, are derived from them. 
From yin comes K l un, the receptive feminine principle ; from 
yang comes ChHen, the creative masculine principle ; from yin 
comes ming, life ; from yang, hsing or essence. 

Each individual contains a central monad which, at the 
moment of conception, splits into life and essence, ming and hsing. 
These two are super-individual principles, and so can be related 
to eros and logos. 

In the personal bodily existence of the individual they are 
represented by two other polarities, a p'o soul (or anima) and a 
hun soul (or animus). All during the life of the individual these 
two are in conflict, each striving for mastery. At death they 
separate and go different ways. The anima sinks to earth as kuei, 
a ghost-being. The animus rises and becomes shin, a revealing 
spirit or god. Shin may in time return to Tao. 

If the life-forces flow downward, that is, without let or 
hindrance into the outer world, the anima is victorious over the 
animus ; no " spirit body " or " Golden Flower " is developed, 
and, at death, the ego is lost. If the life-forces are led through 
the " backward-flowing " process, that is, conserved, and made 
to " rise " instead of allowed to dissipate, the animus has been 
victorioxis, and the ego persists after death. It is then possessed 
of shin, the revealing spirit. A man who holds to the way of 
conservation all through life may reach the stage of the " Golden 
Flower ", which then frees the ego from the conflict of the 
opposites, and it again becomes part of Tao, the undivided, 
Great One. 

1 This summary and the following diagram have been arranged by the English 


Diagram of the Chinese Concepts concerned with the development 
of the " Golden Flower ", or Immortal " Spirit Body ". 

Dariwess/fiBminiBcaptHt-) »yin 


anima sac pb 

Ghosl-being ik Kuei 
(ckcaya after doath 
«id rehjrns teearrh) 





yang = Lighr, (masculine 


_^. rising as Essence, logos 

£ impersonal) 

Golden Flower 


hun ss anirnus 

( personal ) 

Shin a: Retealinq spirir- 

T (Vises afW deaih and 
mau r«hjrn te Tao 

Galdan FloWer 


1 As there is ample evidence in the text to show that Buddhist influences 
represented the Golden Flower as coming ultimately only from the spiritual side, 
that fact has been indicated by the dotted arrow leading down from shin. In 
undiluted Chinese teaching, however, the creation of the " Golden Flower " depends 
on the equal interplay of both the yang and yin forces. 






1, Difficulties encountered by a European in trying to understand the East. 

2. Modern psychology offers a possibility of understanding. 

Fundamental Concepts 

1. Tao. 

2, Circular movement and the centre. 

Phenomena of the Way 

1. The disintegration of consciousness. 

2. Animus and anima. 

The Detachment of Consciousness from the Object. 

The Fulfilment. 


Examples of European Mandaias. 


1. Difficulties encountered by a .. European in 
trying to understand the east 

A thorough Westerner in feeling, I am necessarily 
deeply impressed by the strangeness of this Chinese text. 
It is true that a certain knowledge of Eastern religions 
and philosophies aids my intellect and intuition in under- 
standing these ideas, partly at least, just as I can fathom 
the paradoxes of primitive religious ideas " ethnologic- 
ally ", or as a matter of the " comparative history of 
religions ". This, in fact, is the Western way of hiding 
one's own heart under the cloak of so-called scientific 
understanding. We do it partly because of the miserable 
vanite des savants which fears and rejects with horror 
• any sign of living sympathy, and partly because an under- 
standing that reaches the feelings might allow contact 
with the foreign spirit to become a serious experience. 
So-called scientific objectivity would therefore have 
insisted on reserving this text for the philological acuity 
of sinologues, and would have guarded it jealously from 
any other interpretation. But Richard Wilhelm has 
penetrated too deeply into the secret and mysterious life 
of Chinese wisdom for him to have allowed such a pearl 
of great insight to be shelved by any one of the special 
sciences. It is an especial honour and pleasure that his 
choice of a psychological commentator has fallen upon me. 

However, in this way, this rare piece of general 
knowledge runs the risk of being stowed away upon the 
shelf of yet another of the special sciences. Yet whoever 


seeks to minimize the merits of Western science is under- 
mining the main support of the European mind. Science 
is not, indeed, a perfect instrument, but none the less it is 
an invaluable, superior one which only works harm when 
taken as an end in itself. Scientific method must serve ; 
it errs when it usurps a throne. It must be ready to 
serve all branches of science, because each, by reason of. 
its insufficiency, has need of support from the others. 
Science is the best tool of the Western mind and with it 
more doors can be opened than with bare hands. Thus it 
is part and parcel of our understanding and only clouds 
our insight when it lays claim to being the one and only 
way of comprehending. But it is the East that has taught 
us another, wider, more profound, and a higher under- 
standing, that is, understanding through life. We know 
this way only vaguely, as a mere shadowy sentiment 
culled from religious terminology, and therefore we gladly 
dispose of Eastern " wisdom " in quotation marks, and 
push it away into the obscure territory of faith and 
superstition. But in this way Eastern " realism " is 
completely misunderstood. It does not consist of senti- 
mental, exaggeratedly mystical, intuitions bordering on 
the pathological and emanating from ascetic recluses and 
cranks ; the wisdom of the East is based on practical 
knowledge coming from the flower of Chinese intelligence, 
which we have not the slightest justification for under- 

This assertion may, perhaps, seem extremely bold, 
and therefore will incite a certain amount of doubt, but, 
considering the extraordinary dearth of knowledge about 
the material, doubt is pardonable. Moreover, the strange- 
ness of the material is so arresting that our embarrass- 
ment as to how and when the Chinese world of thought 
might be joined to ours, is quite understandable. When 


faced with this problem of grasping the ideas of the East, 
the usual mistake of the Western man is like that of the 
student in Faust. Ill-advised by the devil, he con- 
temptuously turns his back on science, and, getting a whiff 
of eastern ecstatics, takes over their yoga practices quite 
literally, only to become a pitiable imitator. (Theosophy 
is our best example of this mistake.) And so he abandons 
the one safe foundation of the Western mind, and loses 
himself in a mist of words and ideas which never would 
have originated in European brains, and which can never 
be profitably grafted upon them. 

An ancient adept has said : But if the wrong man 
uses the right means, the right means work in the wrong 
way. This Chinese saying, unfortunately all too true, 
stands in sharp contrast to our belief in the " right " 
method irrespective of the man who applies it. In reality, 
when it comes to things like these, everything depends 
on the man and little or nothing on the method. The 
latter is only the way and direction laid down by a man 
in order that his action may be the true expression of his 
nature. If it fails to be this, then the method is nothing 
more than an affectation, something artificially pieced on, 
rootless and sapless, serving only the illegitimate goal of 
self-deception. It becomes a means of fooling oneself 
and of evading what is perhaps the implacable law of 
one's being. 

This has nothing whatever to do with the earth-born 
quality and sincerity of Chinese thought. On the contrary, 
it is the denial of one's own being, a self-betrayal to 
strange and unclean gods, a cowardly trick for the purpose 
of usurping psychic superiority, everything in fact, which 
is profoundly contrary to the meaning of Chinese 
** method ". Their views result from a way of life that 
is complete, genuine, and true in the fullest sense ; they 


are views that come from that ancient, cultural life of 
China which has grown both logically and coherently from 
deep instincts, and which, for us, is forever remote and 

Western imitation of the East is doubly tragic in that 
it comes from a psychological misunderstanding as sterile 
as are the modern escapades in New Mexico, the 
blissful South Sea Islands, and Central Africa, where 
" primitivity" is being staged in all seriousness, in order 
that western civilized man may covertly slip out of his 
menacing duties, his Hie Rkodus hie salta. It is not for 
us to imitate what is organically foreign, or worse still, 
to send out missionaries to foreign peoples ; it is our task 
to build up our own Western culture, which sickens with 
a thousand ills. This has to be done on the spot, and into 
the work must be drawn the real European as he is in his 
western commonplaceness, with his marriage problems, 
his neuroses, his social and political illusions, and his 
whole philosophical disorientation. 

We should do well to confess at once, that, funda- 
mentally speaking, we do not understand the utter 
unworldliness of a text like this, indeed, that we do not 
want to understand it. Have we, perhaps, an inkling that 
a mental attitude which can direct the glance inward to 
that extent owes its detachment from the world to the 
fact that those men have so completely fulfilled the 
instinctive demands of their natures that little or nothing 
prevents them from perceiving the invisible essence of the 
world ? Can it be, perhaps, that the condition of such 
knowledge is freedom from those desires, ambitions, and 
passions, which bind us to the visible world, and must 
not this freedom result from the intelligent fulfilment of 
instinctive demands, rather than from a premature 
repression, or one growing out of fear ? Do we only 


become free to know the world of the mind when the 
laws of earth have been obeyed ? The man who knows 
the history of Chinese culture, and who besides has 
carefully studied the i" Ching, that book of wisdom 
permeating all Chinese thought for thousands of years, 
will not lightly wave aside these doubts. He will know, 
moreover, that in the Chinese sense, the views set forth 
in our text are nothing extraordinary, but are quite 

inescapable, psychological conclusions. 

. For a long time, spirit, and the passion of the spirit, 

were the greatest values and the things most worth 
striving for in our peculiar Christian culture of the mind. 
Only after the decline of the Middle Ages, that is, in the 
course of the nineteenth century, when spirit began to 
degenerate into intellect, there set in a reaction against 
the unbearable domination of intellectualism which led 
to the pardonable mistake of confusing intellect with 
spirit, and blaming the latter for the misdeeds of the 
former. Intellect does, in fact, violate the soul when it 
tries to possess itself of the heritage of the spirit. It is 
in no way fitted to do this, because spirit is something 
higher than intellect in that it includes not only the latter, 
but the feelings as well. It is a line or principle of life 
that strives after superhuman, shining heights ; but, in 
opposition to it, stands the dark, earth-born, feminine 
principle with its emotionality and instinctiveness reaching 
far back into the depths of time, and into the roots of 
physiological continuity. Without a doubt, these concepts 
are purely intuitive visions, but one cannot dispense with 
them if one tries to understand the nature of the human 
soul. China could not dispense with them because, as the 
history of Chinese philosophy shows, it has never gone 
so far from central psychic facts as to lose itself in a one- 
sided over-development and over-valuation of a single 


psychic function. , Therefore, the Chinese have never 
failed to recognize the paradoxes and the polarity inherent 
in all life. The opposites always balance on the scales — 
a sign of high culture. Onesidedness, though it lends 
momentum, is a mark of barbarism. Therefore, I can 
only take the reaction which begins in the West against 
the intellect in favour of eros, and in favour of intuition, 
as a mark of cultural advance, a widening of consciousness 
beyond the too narrow limits set by a tyrannical intellect. 

But it is far from my wish to undervalue the 
tremendous differentiation of western intellect, because, 
measured by it, eastern intellect can be described as 
childish. (Obviously this has nothing to do with intelli- 
gence.) If we should succeed in bringing another, or still 
a third function to the dignity accorded intellect, then the 
West could expect to surpass the East by a very great 
deal. It is therefore lamentable indeed when the European 
is false to himself and imitates the East or " affects " it 
in any way. He would have so much greater possibilities 
if he would remain true to himself and develop out of His 
own nature all that the East has brought forth from its 
inner being in the course of the centimes. 

In general, and looked at from the incurably external 
point of view of the intellect, it will seem as if the things 
so highly valued by the East were not desirable for us. 
Above all, mere intellect cannot fathom the practical 
importance eastern ideas might have for us, and that is 
why it can classify these ideas as philosophical, and 
ethnological curiosities and- nothing more. The lack of 
comprehension goes, so far, that even learned sinologues 
have not understood the practical application of the 
I Ching, and have therefore looked on the book as a 
collection of abstruse magic *jfaarms. 


2. Modern Psychology offers a Possibility of 


My experience in my practice has been such as to 
reveal to me a quite new and unexpected approach to 
eastern wisdom. But it must be well understood that 
I did not have as a starting point a more or less adequate 
knowledge of Chinese philosophy. On the contrary, 

: when I began my life-work in the practice of psychiatry 
and psychotherapy, I was completely ignorant of Chinese 
philosophy, and it is only later that my professional 
experiences have shown me that in my technique I had 
been unconsciously led along that secret way which for 
centuries has been the preoccupation of the best minds 
of the East. This might have been taken for subjective 
imagination — one reason for my previous hesitancy in 
publishing anything on the subject — but Wilhelm, that 
expert authority on the soul of China, has openly confirmed 
the coincidence for me. In so doing, he has given me the 
courage to write about a Chinese text which, though 
belonging in essence to the mysterious shadows of the 
eastern mind, yet at the same time, and this is important, 
shows striking parallels to the course of psychic develop- 
ment in my patients, none of whom is Chinese. 

In order to make this strange fact more intelligible 
to the reader, it must be mentioned that just as the 
human body shows a common anatomy overand above all 
racial differences, so too, does the psyche possess a common 
substratum. I have called the latter the collective 

'* unconscious. As a common hurpan heritage it transcends 
all differences of culture anj3 consciousness and- does not 
consist merely of contents capable of becoming conscious, 
but of latent dispositions ^toward identical reactions. 
Thus the fact of the eoH6ctive unconscious is simply 

83 " '.-■•'■ 

the psychic expression of identity of brain-structure 
irrespective of all racial differences. By its means can 
be explained the analogy, going even as far as identity, 
between various myth-themes and symbols, and the 
possibility of human understanding in general. The 
various lines of psychic development start from one 
common stock whose roots reach Back infx> the past. Here 
top lies the psychological parallelism with ani?na|^ ffe 

Taken purely psychologically, it means that we hai% 
common instincts of ideation (imagination), and of action. 
All- conscious imagination and action have grown out of 
these unconscious prototypes, and remain bound up with 
them. Especially is this the case when consciousness 
has not attained any high degree of clarity, that is, when, 
in all its functions, it is more dependent on the instincts 
than on the conscious will, more governed by affect than 
by rational judgment. This condition ensures a primitive 
health of the psyche, which, however, immediately becomes 
*lack of adaptiveness as soon as there arise circumstances 
that call for a higher moral effort. Instincts suffice only 
for a nature which, on the whole, remains on one level. 
An individual who is more guided by unconscious choice 
than by the conscious one, tends therefore toward out- 
spoken psychic conservatism. This is the reason the 
primitive does not change in the course of thousands of 
years, and it is also the cause of his fearing everything 
strange and unusual. Were he less conservative, it might 
lead to maladaptation, and thus to the greatest of psychic 
dangers, namely a kind of neurosis. A higher and wider 
consciousness which only comes by means of assimilating 
the unfamiliar, tends toward autonomy, toward revolu- 
tion against the old gods who are nothing other than those 
powerful, unconscious, primordial images which, up to 
this time, have held consciousness in thrall. 


The more powerful and independent consciousness 
becomes, and with it the conscious will, the more is the 
unconscious forced into the background. When this 
happens, it becomes easily possible for the conscious 
structures to be detached from the unconscious images. 
Gaining thus in freedom, they break the chains of mere 
instinctiveness, and finally arrive at a state that is deprived 
of, or contrary to instinct. Consciousness thus torn from 
its roots and no longer able to appeal to the authority of 
the primordial images, possesses a Promethean freedom, 
it is true, but it also partakes of the nature of a godless 
hyhris. It soars above the earth, even above mankind, 
but the danger of capsizing is there, not for every 
individual, to be sure, but collectively for the weak 
members of such a society, who again Promethean-like, 
are bound by the unconscious to the Caucasus. The wise 
Chinese would say in the words of the I Ching : When 
yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power 
of yin is born within its depths ; night begins at midday 
when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin. 

A physician is in a position to see this cycle of 
changes translated literally into life. He sees, for instance, 
a successful business man attaining all his desires regardless 
of death and the devil, and then withdrawing from 
activity at the crowning point of his- success. In a short 
time the man falls into a neurosis, which changes him 
into a querulous old woman, fastens him to his bed, and 
thus finally destroys him. The picture is complete even 
to the change from the masculine to the feminine attitude. 
An exact parallel to this is the legend of Nebuchadnezzar 
in the book of Daniel, and the type of lunacy of Caesars 
in general. Similar cases of a one-sided exaggeration in 
the conscious standpoint, and of a corresponding yin 
reaction of the unconscious, form no small part of the 


practice of nerve specialists of our time, a time which so 
over- values the conscious will as to believe that " where 
there is a will there is a way ". Not that I wish to detract 
in the least from the high moral value of conscious willing ; 
consciousness and will should not be depreciated but 
should be considered as the greatest cultural achieve- 
ments of humanity. But of what use is a morality that 
destroys humanity ? The bringing of will and capacity 
into harmony seems to me to be something more than 
morality. Morality a tout price — a sign of barbarism — 
oftentimes wisdom is better ; but perhaps I look at this 
through the professional glasses of the physician who 
has to mend the ills following in the wake of an exaggerated 
cultural achievement. 

Be that as it may. In any case, it is a fact that conscious- 
ness, increased by a necessary one-sidedness, gets so far 
out of touch with the primordial images as to make a 
collapse inevitable. Long before the actual catastrophe, 
the signs of the mistake announce themselves as absence 
of instinct, nervousness, disorientation, and entanglement 
in impossible situations and problems, etc. When the 
physician comes to investigate, he finds an unconscious 
which is in complete rebellion against the values of the 
conscious, and which, therefore, cannot possibly be 
assimilated to the conscious, while the reverse is altogether 
out of the question. One is then confronted with an 
apparently irreconcilable conflict with which human reason 
cannot deal except by sham solutions or dubious com- 
promises. If both these evasions are rejected, one is faced 
with the question as to what has become of the much 
needed unity of personality, and with the necessity of 
seeking it. At this point begins the path travelled by 
the East since the beginning of things. Quite obviously, 
the Chinese owes the finding of this path, to the fact that 


he has never been led to force the pairs of opposites of 
human nature so far apart that all conscious connection 
between them was lost. The Chinese has this inclusive 
orientation because, as in the case of primitive mentality, 
the yea and the nay have remained in their original 
proximity. None the less, he could not escape feeling 
the collision of the opposites, and therefore he sought 
out the way of life in which he would be what the Hindu 
terms nirdvandva, free of the opposites. 

Our text is concerned with this " Way ", and it is 
the question of this same " Way " that comes up with 
my patients also. There could be no greater mistake than 
for a Westerner to take up the direct practice of Chinese 
yoga, for then it would still be a matter of his will and 
consciousness, and would only strengthen the latter against 
the unconscious, bringing about the very effect which 
should have been avoided. The neurosis would then be 
increased. It cannot be sufficiently strongly emphasized 
that we are not orientals, and therefore have an entirely 
different point of departure in these things. It would also 
be a great mistake to assume that this is the path every 
neurotic must travel, or that it is the solution to be sought 
at every stage of the neurotic problem. It is appropriate 
only in those cases where the conscious has reached an 
abnormal degree of development, and has therefore 
diverged too far from the unconscious. This high degree 
of consciousness is the conditio sine qua non. Nothing 
would be more wrong than to wish to open this way to 
neurotics who are ill on account of the undue predominance 
of the unconscious. For the same reason, this way of 
development has scarcely any meaning before the middle 
of life (normally between the ages of thirty-five and forty), 
in fact, if entered upon too soon, it can be very injurious. 

As has been indicated, the essential tfrge to find a 


new way lay in the fact that the fundamental problem of 
the patient seemed insoluble to me unless violence was 
done to the one or the other side of his nature. I always 
worked with the temperamental conviction that in the 
last analysis there are no insoluble problems, and experience 
has so far justified me in that I have often seen individuals 
who simply outgrew a problem which had destroyed others. 
This " outgrowing ", as I called it previously, revealed 
itself on further experience to be the raising of the level 
of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose 
on the person's horizon, and through this widening of his 
view, the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not 
solved logically in its own terms, but faded out in contrast 
to a new and stronger life-tendency. It was not repressed 
and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different 
light, and so became different itself. What, on a 
lower level, had led to the wildest conflicts and to 
emotions full of panic, viewed from the higher level of the 
personality, now seemed like a storm in the valley seen 
from a high mountain top. This does not mean that the 
thunderstorm is robbed of its reality ; it means that, 
instead of being in it, one is now above it. But since, with 
respect to the psyche, we are both valley and mountain, 
it seems a vain illusion if one feels oneself to be above what 
is human. The individual certainly does feel the affect 
and is convulsed and tormented by it, yet at the same 
time he is aware of a higher consciousness which prevents 
him from being identical with the affect, a consciousness 
which takes the affect objectively, and can say, " I know 
that I suffer." Our text says of laziness : Laziness of 
which a man is conscious and laziness of which he is 
unconscious, are thousands of miles apart. In the highest 
degree this is true of affect also. 

Here and there it happened in my practice that a 
patient grew beyond the dark possibilities within himself, 


and the observation of the fact was an experience of fore- 
most importance to me. In the meantime, I had learned 
to see that the greatest and most important problems of 
life are all fundamentally insoluble. They must be so, 
because they express the necessary polarity inherent in 
every self-regulating system. They can never be solved, 
but only outgrown. I therefore asked myself whether 
this possibility of outgrowing, or further psychic develop- 
ment, was not normal, while to remain caught in a 
conflict was something pathological. Everyone must 
possess that higher level, at least in embryonic form, 
and in favourable circumstances, must be able to develop 
the possibility. When I examined the way of develop- 
ment of those persons who, quietly, and as if unconsciously, 
grew beyond themselves, I saw that their fates had some- 
thing in common. Whether arising from without or 
within, the new thing came to all those persons from a 
dark field of possibilities ; they accepted it and developed 
further by means of it. It seemed to me typical that, in 
some cases, the new thing was found outside themselves, 
and in others within; or rather, that it grew into some 
persons from without, and into others from within. But 
it was never something that came exclusively either from 
within or from without. If it came from outside the 
individual, it became an inner experience ; if it came 
from within, it was changed into an outer event. But in 
no case was it conjured into existence through purpose 
and conscious willing, but rather seemed to flow out 
of the stream of time. 

We are so greatly tempted to turn everything into 
purpose and method that I deliberately express myself 
in very abstract terms in order to avoid causing a prejudice 
in one direction or another. The new thing must not be 
pigeon-holed under any heading, for then it is applied in 


a way that permits mechanical duplication, and it would 
again be a case of the " right means " in the hands " of the 
wrong man ". I have been deeply impressed with the 
fact that the new thing prepared by fate seldom or never 
corresponds to conscious expectation. It is a still more 
remarkable fact that, though the new thing contradicts 
deeply rooted instincts as we know them, yet it is a 
singularly appropriate expression of the total personality, 
an expression which one could not imagine in a more 
complete form. 

What then did these people do in order to achieve 
the progress that freed them ? As far as I could see they 
did nothing (wu wei), 1 but let things happen, for, as 
Master Lii Tzu teaches in our text, the Light circulates 
according to its own law, if one does not give up one's 
accustomed calling. The art of letting things happen, 
action in non-action, letting go of oneself, as taught by 
Master Eckehart, became a key to me with which I was 
able to open the door to the " Way". The key is this : 
we must be able to let things happen in the psyche. For 
us, this becomes a real art of which few people know 
anything. Consciousness is forever interfering, helping, 
correcting, and negating, and never leaving the simple 
growth of the psychic processes in peace. It would be a 
simple enough thing to do, if only simplicity were not 
the most difficult of all things. It consists solely in 
watching objectively the development of any fragment 
of fantasy. Nothing could be simpler than this, and yet 
right here the difficulties begin. Apparently no fantasy- 
fragment is at hand — yes there is one, but it is too stupid ! 
Thousands of good excuses are brought against it : one 
cannot concentrate on it ; it is too boring ; what could 
come out of it ? It is " nothing but, etc.". The conscious 

1 Inaction. 

raises prolific objections, in fact, it often seems bent 
Upon blotting out the spontaneous fantasy-activity despite 
the intention, nay, the firm determination of the individual, 
to allow the psychic processes to go forward without 
interference. In many cases there exists a veritable 
spasm of the conscious. 

If one is successful in overcoming the initial difficulties, 
criticism is likely to start afterwards and attempt to 
interpret the fantasy, to classify, to sesthetieize, or to 
depreciate it. The temptation to do this is almost 
irresistible. After a complete and faithful observation, 
free rein can be given to the impatience of the conscious ; 
in fact it must be given, else obstructing resistances 
develop. But each time the fantasy-material is to be 
produced, the activity of the conscious must again be 
put aside. 

In most cases the results of these efforts are not 
very encouraging at first. It is chiefly a matter of typical 
fantasy-material which admits of no clear statement as to 
whence it comes or whither it is going. Moreover, the way 
of getting at the fantasies is individually different. For 
many people, it is easiest to write them ; others visualize 
them, and others again draw and paint them with or 
without visualization. In cases of a high degree of 
inflexibility in the conscious, oftentimes the hands alone 
can fantasy ; they model or draw figures that are quite 
foreign to the conscious. 

These exercises must be continued until the cramp 
in the conscious is released, or, in other words, until one 
can let things happen ; which was the immediate goal 
of the exercise. In this way, a new attitude is created, 
an attitude which . accepts the irrational and the 
unbelievable, simply because it is what is happening. 
This attitude would be poison for a person who has already 


been overwhelmed by things that just happen, but it is 
of the highest value for one who, with an exclusively- 
conscious critique, chooses from the things that happen 
only those appropriate to his consciousness, and thus gets 
gradually drawn away from the stream of life into a 
stagnant backwater. 

At this point, the way travelled by the two above- 
mentioned types seems to separate. Both have learned to 
accept what comes to them. (As Master Lii Tzii teaches : 
u When occupations come to us we must accept them ; 
when things come to us we must understand them from 
the ground up.") One man will chiefly take what comes 
to him from without, and the other what comes from 
within, and, as determined by the law of life, the one will 
have to take from without something he never could 
accept from without, and the other will accept from 
within, things that always would have been excluded 

This reversal of one's being means an enlargement, 
heightening, and enrichment of the personality when 
the previous values are adhered to along with the change, 
provided, of course, they are not mere illusions. If the 
values are not retained, the man goes over to the other 
side, and passes from fitness to unfitness, from adaptedness 
to the lack of it, from sense to nonsense, and from reason 
even to mental disease. The way is not without danger. 
Everything good is costly, and the development of the 
personality is one of the most costly of all things. It is 
a question of yea-saying to oneself, of taking the self 
as the most serious of tasks, keeping conscious of every- 
thing done, and keeping it constantly before one's eyes 
in all its dubious aspects — truly a task that touches us 
to the core. 

The Chinese can fall back upon the authority of his 


entire culture. If he starts on the long way, he does what 
is recognized as being the best of all the things he could 
do. But the Westerner who seriously wishes to start 
upon this way has all authority against him in intellectual, 
moral, and religious fields. Therefore it is infinitely easier 
for a man to imitate the Chinese method, and leave 
behind him the dubious European in himself. Or, choosing 
something less easy, he can seek again the way back to 
the medisevalism of the Christian Church, and build once 
more the European wall which is intended to shield true 
Christian men from the poor heathen and the ethnographic 
curiosities of the world. The aesthetic, or intellectual 
flirtation with life and fate comes to an abrupt end here. 
The step to higher consciousness leads away from all 
shelter and safety. The person must give himself to the 
new way completely, for it is only by means of his integrity 
that he can go farther, and only his integrity can guarantee 
that his way does not turn out to be an absurd adventure. 
Whether a person receives his fate from without or 
from within, the experiences and events of the way remain 
the same. Therefore I need say nothing about the 
manifold outer and inner events, the endless variety of 
which I could never exhaust. Moreover, to do so would 
be meaningless in relation to the text under discussion. 
On the other hand, there is much to be said of the psychic 
conditions that accompany the further development. 
These psychic conditions are expressed symbolically in 
our text, and in the very symbols which, for many years, 
have been well-known to me in my practice. 

D * 93 


1. Tao 

The great difficulty in interpreting this and similar 

texts 1 for the European mind is due to the fact that the 

Chinese author always starts from the centre of things, 

from the point we would call his objective or goal ; in 

a word, he begins with the ultimate insight he has set out 

to attain. Thus the Chinese author begins his work with 

ideas that demand a most comprehensive understanding 

on our part. So much so, that a man with a critical 

intellect feels he speaks with laughable pretension, or 

even that he is guilty of utter nonsense, if he dares launch 

a purely intellectual discourse on the subtle psychic 

experiences of the great minds of the East. For example, 

our text begins : " That which exists through itself, is 

called Tao" The Hui Ming Ching begins with the words : 

" The most subtle secret of Tao is essence and life." 

It is characteristic of the Western mind that it has 
no concept for Tao. The Chinese sign is made up of the 
sign for " head ", and that for " going ". Wilhelm 
translates Tao by Sinn (Meaning). Others translate 
it as " Way ", u Providence ", or even as " God ", as 
the Jesuits do. This shows the difficulty. " Head " 
could be taken as consciousness, 2 and " to go ", as 
travelling a way, and then the idea would be: to go 
consciously, or the conscious way. This agrees with the 
fact that " the Light of Heaven " which " dwells between 

1 Compare Lhi Hua-yang : Hui Ming Ching, Das Buck von Bewusstsein und 
Leben, (The Book of Consciousness and Life), translated into German by L. C. Lo, 
CMnesische Blatter, No. 1, vol. 3, published by Richard Wilhelm. 

* The head is also the " seat of Heavenly Light". 


the eyes " as the " Heart of Heaven ", is used synony- 
mously with Tao. " Essence and life " are contained in 
the " Light of Heaven ", and according to Liu Hua-yang, 
are the most important secrets of Tao. " Light " is the 
symbolical equivalent of consciousness, and the nature of 
consciousness is expressed by analogies with light. The 
Hui Ming Ching is introduced with the verse : — 

" If thou wouldst complete the diamond body without 


Diligently heat the roots of consciousness 1 and life. 

Kindle Light in the blessed country ever close at hand, 

And, there hidden, let thy true self eternally dwell." 

These verses contain a sort of alchemistic instruction 
as to a method or way of creating the " diamond body " 
which also appears in our text. " Heating " is necessary ; 
that is, there must be a heightening of consciousness in 
order that the dwelling place of the spirit can be 
" illumined ". But not only consciousness, life itself 
must be heightened. The union of these two produces 
" conscious life '*. According to the Hui Ming Ching, 
the ancient sages knew how to bridge the gap between 
consciousness and life because they cultivated both. In 
this way the immortal body is " melted out ", and in this 
way " the great Tao is completed ". 2 

If we take Tao as the method or conscious way by 
which to unite what is separated, we have probably come 
quite close to the psychological content of the concept. 
In any case, the separation of consciousness from life could 
not very well be understood as anything other than what I 
have described above as the deflection, or deracination of 
consciousness. Without doubt also, the question of 

1 In the Htti Ming CHng, " essence " and " consciousness " are used interchangeably. 
* La, p. 104. 


making the opposites conscious ("conversion"), means 
reunion with the laws of life represented in the unconscious, 
and the purpose of this reunion is the attainment of 
conscious life, or, expressed in Chinese terms, the bringing 
about of Tao. 

2. The Circular Movement and the Centre 

As has already been pointed out, the union of the 
opposites x on a higher level of consciousness, is not a 
rational affair, nor is it a matter of will, but a psychic 
process of development which expresses itself in symbols. 
Historically, this process has always been represented in 
symbols, and to-day the development of individual 
personality is still rendered visible by symbolical figures. 
This fact was revealed to me through the following observa- 
tions. The spontaneous fantasies of which we treated 
above, become more profound and concentrate themselves 
gradually around abstract structures which apparently 
represent " principles ", true gnostic archai. When the 
fantasies are chiefly expressed in thoughts, the results are 
intuitive formulations of the dimly felt laws or principles, 
and these tend to be dramatized or personified. (We shall 
have to deal with these again later.) If the fantasies are 
drawn, there appear symbols that are chiefly of the so-called 
mandala 2 type. Mandala means a circle, more especially 
a magic circle, and this form of symbol is not only to be 
found all through the East, but also among us ; mandalas 
are amply represented in the Middle Ages. The specifically 
Christian ones come from the earlier Middle Ages. Most 

1 Compare my discussion in Psychological Types, chap. v. 
s Hfo* a discussion of the mandala, see Kxmstfarm und Yoga im Indischen Kult- 
Mld^ Heinrich Zimmcr, Frankfurter- Verlagsanstalt, Berlin, 1926. 


of them show Christ in the centre, with the four evangelists, 
or their symbols, at the cardinal points. This conception 
must be a very ancient one because Horus was represented 
with his four sons in the same way by the Egyptians. 1 
(It is known that Horus with his four sons was closely 
connected with Christ and the four evangelists.) Later 
there is to be found a clear and very interesting mandala 
in Jacob Boehme's book on the soul. 2 This latter 
mandala, it is easy to see, deals with a psycho-cosmic 
system having a strong Christian colour. Boehme calls 
it the " philosophical eye ", 3 or the " mirror of wisdom ", 
which obviously means a body of secret knowledge. For 
the most part, the mandala form is that of a flower, cross, 
or wheel, with a distinct tendency toward four as the basis 
of structure. (One is reminded of the telrakiys, the funda- 
mental number in the Pythagorean system.) Manddlas 
of this sort are also to be found in the sand drawings used 
in the ceremonies of the Pueblo Indians. 4 But the most 
beautiful manddlas are, of course, those of the East, 
especially those belonging to Tibetan Buddhism. The 
symbols of our text are represented in these mandalas. 
I have also found mandala drawings among the mentally 
diseased, and they were patients who certainly did not 
have the least idea of any of the connections we have 
discussed. 5 

Among my patients I have come across cases of 
women who did not draw mandala symbols but who 
danced them instead. In India this type is called mandala 

1 Compare Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians. 

2 For Forty Questions of the Soule. 1602. first English translation. 

3 Compare the Chinese concept of the Heavenly Light between the eyes. 

* Matthews, The Mountain Chant. Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of 
Ethnology, 1883-4, and Stevenson, Ceremonial of Hasjelti Dailjiis, Eighth Annual 
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1886-7. 

5 I have published the mandala of a somnambulist in Collected Papers on 
Analytical Psychology. 


nrithya or mandala dance, and the dance figures express 
the same meanings as the drawings. My patients can say 
very little about the meaning of the symbols but are 
fascinated by them and find them in some way or other 
expressive and effective with respect to the subjective 
psychic condition represented. 

Our text promises to " reveal the secret of the Golden 
Flower of the Great One ". The Golden Flower is the 
Light, and the Light of Heaven is Tao. The Golden 
Flower is a mandala symbol which I have often met with 
in the material brought me by my patients. It is drawn 
either (seen from above) as a regular geometric ornament, 
or as a flower growing from a plant. The plant is 
frequently a structure in brilliant fiery colours and is 
shown growing out of a bed of darkness, and carrying 
the blossom of light at the top, a symbol similar to that 
of the Christmas tree. But a drawing of this kind expresses 
more than the form of the Golden Flower; it suggests 
its origin as well, since according to the Hui Ming Ching, 
the " germinal vesicle " is the " dragon castle on the 
floor of the sea ". This vesicle is nothing other than 
the " golden castle ", the " Heavenly Heart ", the " terrace 
of life", the "field of the square-inch", the "house 
of the square-foot ", the " purple hall of the city of jade ", 
the "dark pass", in the "space of former Heaven". 
The list of richly significant names is not yet exhausted, 
for the " germinal vesicle " is also known as the " border- 
line of the snow mountains ", the " primordial pass ", 
the " empire of the greatest joy ", the " land without 
boundaries ", and " the altar upon which consciousness 
and life are made ". " If a dying man does not know 
this seed place," says the Hui Ming Ching, " he will not 
find the unity of consciousness and life in a thousand 
births and ten thousand aeons." 


The beginning, in which everything is still unity, 
and which therefore appears as the highest goal, lies on 
the floor of the sea in the darkness of the unconscious. 
In the germinal vesicle, life and consciousness (or 
" essence " and " life ", hsing-ming), are still a " unity ", x 
" inseparably mixed like the seeds of fire in the refining 
furnace." " Inside the germinal vesicle is the fire of the 
ruler." " In the germinal vesicle all wise men have 
begun their work." Note the fire analogies. I know a 
series of European mandala drawings in which something 
like a plant seed surrounded with membranes is shown 
floating in water, and, from the depths below, fire 
penetrating the seed, makes it grow, and causes the 
formation of a large golden flower from within the germinal 

This symbolism refers to a sort of alchemic process 
of refining and " ennobling " ; darkness gives birth to 
light ; out of the " lead of the water-region ", grows the 
44 noble " gold ; the unconscious becomes conscious in 
the form of a process of life and growth. (Hindu Kundalini 
yoga 2 affords a complete analogy.) In this way the union 
of consciousness and life takes place. 

When my patients produce these mandala pictures 
it is, of course, not through suggestion ; similar pictures 
were being made long before I knew their meaning or 
their connection with the strange practices of the East, 
which, at that time, were wholly unfamiliar to me. The 
pictures came quite spontaneously and from two sources. 
One source is the unconscious, which spontaneously 
produces such fantasies ; the other source is life, which, 
if lived with complete devotion, brings an intuition of 
the self, the individual being. When one becomes aware 

1 Hut Ming Ching, p. 105. 

8 Avalon, The Serpent Power. Luzac and Co., Loudon, 1919. 


of the latter, it is expressed in drawings, while the 
unconscious enforces an acceptance of life. Moreover, 
quite in accord with the Eastern conception, the mandala 
symbol is not only a means of expression, but works an 
effect. It reacts upon its maker. Very ancient magical 
effects are associated with this symbol because it comes 
originally from the " enclosing circle ", the " charmed 
circle ", the magic of which has been preserved in countless 
folk-customs. 1 The picture has the obvious purpose of 
drawing a sulcus 'primigenius, a magical furrow around 
the centre, the templum, or temenos (sacred precincts), 
of the innermost personality, in order to prevent 
" emanation ", or to guard by apotropaeic means, 
deflections through external influences. Magical practices 
are nothing but the projections of psychic events, which, 
in cases like these, exert a counter influence on the soul, and 
act like a kind of enchantment of one's own personality. 
That is to say, by means of these concrete performances, 
the attention, or better said, the interest, is brought back 
to an inner, sacred domain, which is the source and goal 
of the soul. This inner domain contains the unity of 
life and consciousness, which, though once possessed, has 
been lost, and must now be found again. 

The union of these two, life and consciousness, is 
Tao, whose symbol would be the central white light 
(compare the Bardo Todol), 2 and the dwelling place of 
the light is the "quadrant", or the "face", that is, the 
space between the eyes. By means of these symbols it is 
intended to make visible the " creative point ", or that 
which has intensity without extension. It is a point 
conceived to be connected with the space of the " square- 
inch ", which is the symbol for that which has extension. 

1 I refer to the excellent collection of Knuchel, Die Umwandlwig in Kult, 
Magie und Rechtsgebrauch. 

2 Evans-Wentz, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, 1927. 


The two together make Tao. Essence, or consciousness 
(hsing), is expressed in light symbolism, and is therefore 
intensity, while life (ming)> would coincide with extensity. 
The first has the character of the yang principle, the latter 
of the yin. The above-mentioned rmndala of a 
somnambulist girl, 15% years old, whom I had under 
observation thirty years ago, shows in its centre, 
a " spring of life-force " without extension, which in its 
emanations collides directly with its contradictory space- 
principle, thus bringing the symbolism into complete 
analogy with the fundamental idea of the Chinese. 

The " enclosure ", or circumamMdatio is expressed in 
our text by the idea of a " circular course ". The " circular 
course " is not merely motion in a circle, but means, on 
the one side, the marking off of the sacred precinct, and, 
on the other, fixation and concentration. The sunwheel 
begins to run ; that is to say, the sun is activated, and 
begins to take its course, or, in other words, Tao begins 
to be effective and to take the leadership. Action is 
reversed into non-action ; all that is peripheral is subjected 
to the command of the centre. Therefore it is said : 
Movement is only another name for mastery. 
Psychologically, this circular course would be the " turning 
in a circle about oneself ", by means of which, apparently, 
all sides of the personality become implicated. " The 
poles of Light and Darkness are made to rotate ; there 
comes a change from day to night." 
" Es meehselt ParadieseheUe 1 
Mit liefer, sckauervoUer Nacht." 

Thus the circular movement has also the moral 
significance of activating all the light and dark forces of 
human nature, and with them, all the psychological 
opposites of whatever kind they may be. That means 

1 " The radiance of Paradise alternates with deep, dreadful night." (Faust } 


nothing else than self-knowledge by means of self-incuba- 
tion (Hindu tapas). A similar primordial concept of an, 
absolutely complete creature is that of the Platonic man, 
round on all sides and uniting within himself the two sexes. 

One of the finest parallels to what has been said here, 
is the description of his central experience given by 
Edward Maitland, the co-worker of Anna Kingsford. 1 
As far as possible I have followed his own words. He 
had discovered that during reflection on an idea, related 
ideas became visible, so to speak, in a long series, 
apparently back to their source, which to him was the 
divine spirit. By means of concentration on the series, 
be made the effort to press on to their origin. He says : 
" I was absolutely without knowledge or expectation when 
I yielded to the impulse to make the attempt. I simply 
experimented on a faculty . . . being seated at my 
writing-table the while in order to record the results as 
they came, and resolved to retain my hold on my outer 
and circumferential consciousness, no matter how far 
towards my inner and central consciousness I might go. 
For I knew not whether I should be able to regain the 
former if I once quitted my hold of it, or to recollect the 
facts of the experience. At length I achieved my object, 
though only by a strong effort, the tension occasioned by 
the endeavour to keep both extremes of the consciousness 
in view at once being very great." 

" Once well started on my quest, I found myself 
traversing a succession of spheres or belts . . . the 
impression produced being that of mounting a vast ladder 
stretching from the circumference towards the centre of a 
system, which was at once my own system, the solar 
system, and the universal system, the three systems being 

1 I am indebted for this reference to my esteemed colleague, Dr. Beatrice 
Hinkle, of New, York. The title reads : Anna Kingsford, Her Life, Letters, Diary, 
and Work, by Edward Maitland, Redway, London, 1896. Note especially page 129 f . 


at once diverse and identical. . . . Presently, by a 
supreme, and what I felt must be a final, effort ... I 
succeeded in polarizing the whole of the convergent rays 
of my consciousness into the desired focus. And at the 
same instant, as if through the sudden ignition of the 
rays thus fused into a unity, I found myself confronted 
with a glory of unspeakable whiteness and brightness, and 
of a lustre so intense as well-nigh to beat me back. . . . 
But though feeling that I had no need to explore further, 
I resolved to make assurance doubly sure by piercing if 
I could the almost blinding lustre, and seeing what it 
enshrined. With a great effort I succeeded, and the 
glance revealed to me that which I had felt must be 
there. ... It was the dual form of the Son . . . the 
unmanifest made manifest, the unformulate formulate, 
the unindividuate individuate, God as the Lord, proving 
through His duality that God is Substance as well as 
Force, Love as well as Will, Feminine as well as Masculine, 
Mother as well as Father." He found that God is two 
in one like man. Beside this he noticed something that 
our text also emphasizes, namely, " suspension of 
breathing." He says ordinary breathing stopped and was 
replaced by an internal respiration, " as if by the breathing 
of a distinct personality within and other than the physical 
organism." He took this being to be the entelechy of 
Aristotle, and the inner Christ of the Apostle Paul, the 
" spiritual and substantial individuality engendered 
within the physical and phenomenal personality, and 
representing, therefore, the rebirth of the man on a plane 
transcending the material ". 

This genuine 1 experience contains all the essential 

1 Such experiences ate genuine, but their genuineness does not prove that 
all the conclusions or convictions forming their context are necessarily sound. 
Even in cases of lunacy one comes across perfectly valid psychic experiences. 
(C. G. J.) 


symbols of our text. The phenomenon itself, that is the 
light-vision, is an experience common to many mystics, 
and one that is undoubtedly of the greatest significance, 
because in all times and places it appears as the 
unconditional thing, which unites in itself the greatest 
power and the profoundest meaning. Hildegarde von 
Bingen, a significant personality quite apart from her 
mysticism, expresses herself about her central vision in 
a quite similar way. " Since my childhood," she says, 
" I always see a Jight in my soul, but not with the outer 
eyes, nor through the thoughts of my heart ; neither do 
the five outer senses take part in this vision. . . . The 
light I perceive is not of a local kind, but is much brighter 
than the cloud which bears the sun. I cannot distinguish 
in it height, breadth, or length. . . . What I see or learn 
in such a vision stays long in my memory. I see, hear, 
and know at the same time, and learn what I know in 
the same moment. ... I cannot recognize any sort of 
form in this light, although I sometimes see in it another 
light that is known to me as the living light. . . . While 
I am enjoying the spectacle of this light, all sadness and 
sorrow disappear from my memory . . ." 

I know a few individuals who are familiar with this 
phenomenon from personal experience. As far as I have 
ever been able to understand it, the phenomenon seems 
to have to do with an acute condition of consciousness as 
intensive as it is abstract, a " detached " consciousness 
(see below), which, as Hildegarde pertinently remarks, 
brings up to consciousness regions of psychic events 
ordinarily covered with darkness. The fact that, in 
connection with this, the general bodily sensations 
disappear, shows that their specific energy has been with- 
drawn from them, and has apparently gone toward 
heightening the clearness of consciousness. As a rule, the 


phenomenon is spontaneous, coming and going \<3n its 

own initiative. Its effect is astonishing in that it affioost 

"v. * » * 

always brings about a solution of psychic complications, 
and thereby frees the inner personality from emotional 
and imaginary entanglements, creating thus a unity of 
being, which is universally felt as a " release ". 

The achievement of such a symbolic unity is beyond 
the power of the conscious will because, in this case, the 
conscious is partisan. Its opponent is the collective 
unconscious which does not understand the language of 
the conscious. Therefore it is necessary to have the 
" magically " effective symbol which contains those 
primitive analogies that speak to the unconscious. The 
unconscious can only be reached and expressed by the 
symbol, which is the reason why the process of individua- 
tion can never do without the symbol. The symbol is, 
on the one hand, the primitive expression of the 
unconscious, while, on the other hand, it is an idea 
corresponding to the highest intuition produced by 

The oldest mandala known to me, is a palaeolithic 
so-called " sunwheel ", recently discovered in Rhodesia. 
It is likewise founded on the principle of four. Things 
reaching so far back in human history naturally touch 
upon the deepest layers of the unconscious and make it 
possible to grasp the latter where conscious speech shows 
itself to be quite impotent. Such things cannot be thought 
out but must grow again from the forgotten depths, if 
they are to express the supreme presentiments of 
consciousness and the loftiest intuitions of the spirit. 
Coming from these depths they can unite the uniqueness 
of present-day consciousness with the age-old past of life. 



1. The Disintegration of Consciousness 

Danger arises whenever the narrowly delimited, but 
intensely clear, individual consciousness meets the immense 
expansion of the collective unconscious, because the latter 
has a definitely disintegrating effect on consciousness. 
According to the exposition of the Hui Ming Ching, this 
effect belongs to the peculiar phenomena of Chinese yoga 
practice. It is said there 1 : Every thought-fragment 
takes shape and becomes visible in colour and form. All 
the powers of the soul reveal their traces. 2 One of the 
illustrations 3 accompanying the book shows a sage sunk 
in contemplation, his head circled with fire, out of which 
five human figures emerge : these five split up again 
into twenty-five- smaller figures. That would represent 
a schizophrenic process if it remained a permanent 
condition. Therefore the instructions, as though warning 
the adept, say : Figures formed out of the fire of the 
spirit, are only empty colours and forms. The Light of 
the essence streams back to the primordial truth. 

It is understandable then why the protecting figure 
of the " enclosing circle " was seized upon. It is intended 
to prevent " emanations ", and to protect the unity of 
consciousness from being split apart by the unconscious. 
Moreover, the Chinese concept points a way toward lessening 

1 L.c, p. 112. 

' Here belong also the recurrent memories of earlier incarnations that arise 
during contemplation. 

3 This picture and the others of the series in the Hui Ming Ching have been 
reproduced by Wilhelm and appear in this book. (C. F. B.) 


the disintegrating effect of the unconscious ; it describes 
the " thought-figures " or " thought-fragments " as 
" empty colours and shapes ", and thus depotentializes 
them as far as that is possible. This idea goes through 
the whole of Buddhism (especially the Mahay ana form), 
and, in the instructions to the dead of the Bardo Todol, it 
is even pushed to the point of explaining both favourable 
and unfavourable gods as illusions still to be overcome. 

It certainly is not within the competence of the 
psychologist to establish the metaphysical truth or falsity 
of this idea ; he must be content to determine wherever 
possible what is psychically effective. In doing this, he 
need not bother himself as to whether the shape in question 
is a transcendental illusion or not, since faith, not science, 
has to decide this point. We are working here in a field 
which for a long time has seemed to be outside the domain 
of science, and which has therefore been looked upon as 
altogether illusory. But there is no scientific justification 
for such an assumption, because the substantiality of these 
things is not a scientific problem since, in any case, it 
lies beyond the power of human perception and criticism, 
and therefore beyond any possibility of proof. The 
psychologist is not concerned with the substance of these 
complexes, but with the psychic experiences. Without a 
doubt they are psychic contents which can be experienced, 
and which have an indisputable autonomy. They are 
psychic partial-systems which either appear spontaneously 
in ecstatic condition and cause powerful impressions and 
effects, or else become fixed as mental disturbances in 
the form of lunacies and hallucinations, thus destroying 
the unity of the personality. 

The psychiatrist is always prone to believe in toxins 
and the like, and to explain schizophrenia (splitting of 
the mind in a psychosis) in these terms, leaving the 


psychic contents out of account. On the other hand, in 
psychogenetic disturbances (hysteria, compulsion 
neurosis, etc.), where the question of toxic effects and cell 
degeneration cannot possibly arise, there are to be found, 
in somnambulistic conditions for example, independent, 
split-off complexes. Freud would explain these as due to 
unconscious repression of sexuality, but this explanation 
is by no means valid for all cases, because there can evolve 
spontaneously out of the unconscious, contents which 
the conscious cannot assimilate, and, in such cases, the 
repression hypothesis is inadequate. Moreover, the 
essential autonomy of these elements can be observed in 
the effects of daily life which obstinately obtrude them- 
selves against our wills, and then, despite our most 
desperate efforts toward repression, overwhelm the ego 
and force it under their control. No wonder that the 
primitive sees in these moods either a state of possession, 
or sets them down to the loss of a soul. Our colloquial 
speech reflects the same thing when we say : " I don't 
know what has got into him to-day"; "He is ridden by 
the devil"; "It has him again"; "He was beside 
himself"; "He behaves as if possessed." Even legal 
practice recognizes a partial lessening of responsibility in 
a state of affect. Autonomic psychic contents are therefore 
quite common experiences for us, and such contents have 
a disintegrating effect on the conscious. 

But besides the ordinary, widely recognized affects, 
there are subtler, more complex emotional states which 
cannot be described as pure and simple affects but are 
complicated partial-systems which have more of the 
character of personalities the more complicated they are. 
Being also constituents of the psychic personality, they 
necessarily have the character of persons. Such partial- 
systems appear in mental diseases where there is no 


psychogenetic splitting of the personality (double 
personality), and also, quite commonly, in mediumistic 
phenomena. They are also encountered in the religious 
phenomena, and therefore many of the earlier gods have 
developed from persons to personified ideas, and finally 
into abstract ideas. As we know, activated unconscious 
contents always appear first as projections upon the 
outside world. In the course of mental development, 
consciousness gradually assimilates them and reshapes 
them into conscious ideas which then forfeit their originally 
autonomous and personal character. Some of the old 
gods, after serving as carriers of astrological projections, 
became mere descriptive attributes (martial, jovial, 
saturnine, erotic, logical, lunatic, etc.). 

The instructions of the Bardo Todol, especially, enable 
us to see how greatly the conscious is threatened with 
disintegration through these figures. Again and again, 
the dead are instructed not to take these shapes as real, 
and not to confuse their gloomy appearance with the pure 
white light of Dharmakdya (" the divine body of truth "). 
The meaning is that they are not to project the one light 
of highest consciousness into concretized figures, and in 
such a way dissolve into a plurality of autonomous 
partial-systems. If there were no danger in this, and if 
the partial-systems were not menacingly autonomous and 
divergent tendencies, such urgent instructions would not 
be necessary. If we consider the simpler, polytheistically 
orientated attitude of the Eastern man, these instructions 
are almost as significant as would be warnings to a 
Christian not to let himself be blinded by the illusion of 
a personal God, not to mention a Trinity and innumerable 
angels and saints. 

If tendencies toward splitting were not inherent 
characteristics of the human psyche, partial-systems would 


never have been separated off. In other words, there 
would never have been either spirits or gods. That is 
the reason, too, that our time is so utterly godless and 
profane, lacking as we do knowledge of the unconscious 
psyche, and pursuing an exclusive eult of consciousness. 
Our true religion is a monotheism of consciousness, a 
possession by it, with a fanatical denial of the existence 
of autonomous partial-systems. In this we differ from the 
Buddhist yoga doctrine, because we even deny that 
partial-systems can be experienced. Since the repressed 
material appears again in consciousness in unsuitable form, 
a great psychic danger arises here, because the partial- 
systems then behave like any other repressed contents, 
and induce compulsive, wrong attitudes. This fact, which 
is so striking in every case of neurosis, holds true also 
for the collective psychic phenomena. In this respect, 
our time is caught in a fatal error ; we believe we can 
criticize religious facts intellectually ; we think, for 
instance, like Laplace, that God is a hypothesis which 
can be subjected to intellectual treatment, affirmation, 
or denial. It is completely forgotten that the reason 
humanity believed in " daemons " has nothing whatever 
to do with anything external, but depends entirely on 
naive awareness of the powerful inner effect of autonomous 
partial-systems. This effect is not stopped by criticizing 
its name intellectually, nor by describing it as false. The 
effect is collectively always present ; the autonomous 
systems are always at work, because the fundamental 
structure of the unconseious is not disturbed by the 
fluctuations of a transitory consciousness. 

If one denies the existence of the partial-systems, 
hoping to be rid of them by a criticism of the name, then 
their effect, which nevertheless continues, cannot be 
understood, and therefore they cannot be assimilated to 


consciousness. They then become an inexplicable factor 
of disturbance which one assumes to exist somewhere or 
other outside. In this way, there results a projection of 
the partial-system, and, at the same time, a dangerous 
situation is created, because the disturbing effects are 
now attributed to a bad will outside ourselves which is 
perforce located at our neighbour's " de V autre cote de la 
riviere ". This leads to collective delusions, instigations 
to war and revolution, in a word, to destructive mass 

Insanity is possession by an unconscious content 
which, as such, is not assimilated to consciousness, nor 
can it be assimilated, since consciousness has denied the 
existence of such contents. Religiously expressed, the 
attitude is equivalent to saying : " We no longer have 
any fear of God and believe that everything is to be 
measured in terms of human standards." This hybris, 
that is, this narrowness of consciousness, is always the 
shortest way to the insane asylum. I recommend the 
excellent presentation of this problem in H. G. Wells' novel, 
Christina Alberta's Father, and Schreber's Denkwurdigkeiten 
eines Nervenkranken. 1 

It must stir a sympathetic chord in an enlightened 
European when it is said in the Hui Ming Ching that the 
" shapes formed from the fire of the spirit are only empty 
colours and forms ". That sounds quite European and 
seems to suit our reason excellently. We, indeed, think 
we can flatter ourselves at having already reached such 
heights of clarity because such phantoms of gods seem to 
have been left far behind. But the things we have out- 
grown are only the word-ghosts, not the psychic facts 
which were responsible for the birth of the gods. We are 
just as much possessed by our autonomous psychic 

1 Mutze, I,eipzig. 

contents as if they were gods. To-day they are called 
phobias, compulsions, etc., or briefly, neurotic symptoms. 
The gods have become diseases ; not Zeus, but the solar 
plexus, now rules Olympus and causes the oddities of 
the professional office hour, or disturbs the brains of the 
politician and journalist who then unwittingly release 
mental epidemics. 

Therefore it is better for the Western man not to 
know too much about the secret insight of Eastern wise 
men, because it would then be a case of the " right means 
in the hands of the wrong men ". Instead of again 
convincing himself that the daemon is -an illusion, the 
Westerner ought to experience the reality of this illusion 
again. He ought to learn to recognize these psychic 
powers again, and not wait until his moods, nervous 
states, and insane ideas, make clear to him in the most 
painful possible way that he is not the only master in 
his house. The splitting tendencies are effective psychic 
personalities of a relative reality. They are real when they 
are not recognized as real and are therefore projected ; 
relatively real when they are related to the conscious 
(in religions this stage leads to the forming of a cult) ; 
but they are unreal in so far as consciousness has begun 
to detach itself from its contents. 

However, the latter is only the case when life has 
been lived so exhaustively, and with such devotion, that 
no more unfulfilled life-duties exist, and when, therefore, 
there are no more desires which cannot be sacrificed 
without hesitation. In a word, this detachment of 
consciousness can only begin when nothing remains to 
prevent an inner superiority to the world. It is futile to 
lie to oneself about this. Wherever one is caught, one is 
still possessed ; and, when one is possessed, it means the 
presence of something stronger than oneself. (" Truly 


from thence will't thou ne'er come forth until thou hast 
paid the last farthing.") It is not a matter of unconcern 
whether one calls something a " mania " or a *' god ". 
To serve a mania is detestable and undignified, but to 
serve a god is full of meaning, and rich in possibilities 
because it means yielding to a higher, invisible, and 
spiritual being. The personification enables one to see 
the relative reality of the autonomous partial-system, 
which, in turn, makes its assimilation possible and 
depotentializes the forces of external life. When God is 
not recognized, selfish desires develop, and out of this 
selfishness comes illness. 

Yoga teaching assumes the recognition of gods to be 
something granted. Its secret instruction is therefore 
only intended for him whose light of consciousness is 
capable of freeing him from the powers of life, in order to 
enter into the ultimate undivided unity, into the " centre 
of emptiness ", where " dwells the god of utmost emptiness 
and life ", as our text says. " To hear such a teaching 
is difficult to attain in thousands of aeons." Obviously, 
the veil of Maya cannot be lifted by a mere decision of 
reason, but demands the most thoroughgoing and weari- 
some preparation consisting in the right payment of all 
debts to life. For, as long as one is in any way held by 
the domination of cupiditas, the veil is not lifted, and the 
heights of a consciousness, empty of content and free of 
illusion, are not reached, nor can any trick nor any deceit 
bring it about. It is an ideal that can only be completely 
realized in death. Till then, there are real, and relatively 
real, figures of the unconscious. 


2. Animus and Anima 

According to our text there belong to the figures of 
the unconscious, not only gods, but also the animus and 
anima. The word hun is translated by Wilhelm as animus. 
As a matter of fact, the concept animus seems very 
appropriate for hun, the character for which is made up 
of the character for "■ clouds " and that for " daemon ". 
Hun means, then, " cloud-daemon," a higher, spirit-soul 
belonging to the yang principle and therefore masculine. 
After death, hun rises above and becomes shin, the 
" expanding and revealing " spirit or god. The anima, 
called p'o, and written with the character for " white ", 
and that for " daemon", that is, "white ghost", belongs 
to the lower, earth-bound, bodily soul, partakes of the yin 
principle, and is therefore feminine. After death, it sinks 
and becomes kuei (daemon), often explained as the " one 
who returns " (i.e. to earth), a revenant, a ghost. The fact 
that the animus as well as the anima part after death 
and go their ways independently, shows that, for the 
Chinese consciousness, they are separable psychic factors 
which have markedly different effects, and, despite the 
fact that originally they are united in " one effective, true 
essence ", in the " house of the creative ", they are two, 
" The animus is in the Heavenly Heart ; by day it lives 
in the eyes (that is in consciousness) ; at night it dreams 
away in the liver." It is that " which we have received 
from the great emptiness, that which has form from the very 
beginning". The anima, on the other hand, is the "force 
of heaviness and sadness " ; it clings to the bodily, 
fleshly heart. " Moods and impulses to anger " are its 
effects. " Whoever is dull and moody on waking, is 
fettered by the anima." 

Many years ago, before Wilhelm made me acquainted 


with this text, I used the concept anima l in a way quite 
analogous to the Chinese definition of p'o, and of course 
entirely apart from any metaphysical premise. To the 
psychologist, the anima is not a transcendental being but 
something quite within the range of experience. As the 
Chinese definition also makes clear, affective conditions 
are immediate experiences. But why does one speak of 
anima and not simply of moods ? The reason for this is 
that affects have an autonomous character, and therefore 
most people are under their power. But, as we have 
seen, affects are delimitable contents of consciousness, 
parts of the personality, in other words. As parts of the 
personality, they partake of its character, and can there- 
fore be easily personified, a process which is still going on 
to-day, as the examples cited above have shown. The 
personification is not an idle invention, inasmuch as the 
individual stirred by affect does not show a vague, but 
a quite definite, character, different from his ordinary 
one. Careful investigation has shown that the affective 
character in a man has feminine traits. From this 
psychological fact comes the Chinese teaching of the 
p'o-soul, as well as my concept of the anima. Deeper 
introspection, or ecstatic experience, reveals the existence 
of a feminine figure in the unconscious, therefore the 
feminine name, anima, psyche, ante, Seele. The anima 
can also be defined as an image, or archetype, or as the 
resultant of all the experiences of man with woman. 
This is the reason the anima image is projected on the 
woman. Poetry, as is well known, has often described 
and celebrated the anima.* The relation of the anima 
to the spook in the Chinese concept is interesting to 

1 I refer the reader to the comprehensive presentation in my book, Two Essays 
on Analytical Psychology. Baillere, TyndaU, and Cox, London. 

2 Psychological Types, chap. v. 


parapsychologists in that the " controls " are very often 
of the opposite sex. 

Although I cannot but approve Wilhelm's translation 
of hun by animus, as being a perfectly good philological 
equivalent, none the less I had very important reasons 
for choosing the expression logos for a man's mental 
essence, his clarity of consciousness and reason. Chinese 
philosophers are spared certain difficulties which burden 
the task of Western psychologists, because Chinese 
philosophy, like all mental and spiritual activity of ancient 
times, is the exclusive constituent of the man's world. 
Its concepts are never taken psychologically, and have 
therefore never been examined as to how far they also 
apply to the feminine psyche. But the psychologist 
cannot possibly ignore the existence of woman and her 
peculiar psychology. This is the reason I prefer to translate 
hun as it appears in a man, by logos. Wilhelm in his 
translation uses logos for the Chinese concept hsing, which 
could also be translated as essence, or creative consciousness. 
After death, hun becomes shin, spirit, which is very close, 
in the philosophical sense, to hsing. Since the Chinese 
concepts are not logical in our sense, but are intuitive 
perceptions, their meaning can only be fathomed through 
the ways in which they are used, and by noting the 
constitution of the written signs, or further, by such 
relationships as that of hun to shen. Hun, then, would be 
the discriminating light of consciousness and of reason 
in man, originally coming from the logos spermatikos of 
hsing, and returning after death through shin to Tao. 
Used this way the expression logos would ±>e especially 
appropriate, since it includes the idea of a universal 
essence, and therefore covers the fact that man's clarity 
of consciousness and capacity for reason are universal 
rather than something individually unique. Neither is 
this character of his consciousness personal, but, in the 


deepest sense, impersonal, and thus in sharp contrast 
to the anima, which is a personal daemon expressing itself 
in thoroughly personal moods (therefore animosity !). 

In consideration of these psychological facts, I have 
reserved the term animus for women exclusively, because 
" mulier non habet animam, sed animum *\ Feminine 
psychology shows an element which is a counterpart to 
the anima of man. It is primarily not of an affective 
nature, but is a quasi-intellectual element best described 
by the word " prejudice ". The emotional nature of man, 
not his " mind ", corresponds to the conscious nature of 
woman. Mind makes up the " soul ", or better, the 
" animus " of woman, and, just as the anima of the man 
consists of inferior relatedness, full of resentment, so the 
animus of woman consists of inferior judgments, or better 
said, opinions. (For further details I must refer my 
reader to my essay cited above, for here I can only mention 
the general aspects.) The animus of the woman consists 
in a plurality of pre-conceived opinions, and is therefore 
far less susceptible of personification by one figure, but 
appears more often as a group or crowd. (A good example 
of this from parapsychology is the so-called " Imperator "- 
group in the case of Mrs. Piper.) x The animus, on a lower 
level, is an inferior logos, a caricature of the differentiated 
masculine mind, just as the anima, on a lower level, is 
a caricature of the feminine eros. Following the parallelism 
further* we can say that just as hun corresponds to hsing, 
translated by Wilhelm as logos, so the eros of woman 
corresponds to ming, which is translated as fate, fatum, 
destiny, and is interpreted by Wilhelm as eros. Eros is 
an interweaving; logos is capacity for differentiation* 
clarifying light; eros is relatedness; logos is discrimination 
and detachment. Thus the inferior logos in the woman's 

1 Compare Hyslop, Science and. a Future lAfe, 
* 117 

animus appears as something quite unrelated, and there- 
fore as an inaccessible prejudice, or as an opinion which, 
in an irritating way, has nothing to do with the essential 
nature of the object. 

I have often been reproached for personifying the 
anima and animus as mythology does, but this reproach 
would only be justified if it could be proved that in my 
psychological use of them I concretized these concepts 
in the mythological way. I must declare once and for 
all that the personification is not an invention of mine, 
but is inherent in the nature of the phenomena. It would 
be unscientific to overlook the fact that the anima is a 
psychic, and therefore personal, partial-system. None of 
the people who make the charge against me would hesitate 
a second to say : " I dreamed of Mr. X.," whereas, 
speaking accurately, he only dreamed of the representation 
of Mr. X. The anima is nothing but a representation of 
the personal nature of the autonomous partial-system in 
question. The nature of this partial-system in a 
transcendental sense, that is to say, beyond the boundaries 
of experience, we cannot know. 

I have defined the anima in a man as a personification 
of the unconscious in general, and have therefore taken it 
as a bridge to the unconscious, that is, the function of 
relationship to the unconscious. A statement of our 
text brings out an interesting connection with this position 
of mine. The text says that consciousness (that is, 
personal consciousness), comes from the anima. Since 
the Western mind is based wholly on the standpoint of 
consciousness, it must define anima in the way I have done, 
but the East, on the contrary, orientated as it is from the 
view-point of the unconscious, sees consciousness as an 
effect of the anima ! Without a doubt, consciousness 
^is derived from the unconscious. This is something we 


remember too little, and therefore we are always attempting 
to identify the psyche with consciousness, or at least 
attempting to represent the unconscious as a derivative, 
or an effect of the conscious (as, for example, in the 
Freudian repression theory). But, for the reasons given 
above, it is essential that nothing be subtracted from 
the reality of the unconscious, and that the figures of the 
unconscious should be understood as quantities which 
produce effects. Whoever has understood the thing meant 
by psychic reality need not fear falling back into primitive 
demonology because that reality is admitted. If the 
unconscious figures are not accorded the dignity of 
spontaneously effective factors, one becomes the victim 
of a one-sided belief in the conscious, which finally leads 
to a state of mental tension. Catastrophes are then 
bound to occur, because, despite all one's consciousness, 
the dark psychic powers have been overlooked. It is 
not we who personify them ; they have a personal nature 
from the very beginning. Only when this is thoroughly 
recognized can we think of depersonalizing them, or of 
" overcoming the anima ", as our text expresses it. 

Here, again, is to be found a great difference between 
Buddhism and our Western attitude of mind, and again 
there is a dangerous semblance of agreement. Yoga 
teaching repudiates all fantasy contents and we do the 
same, but the East does it on quite different grounds. 
There, conceptions and teachings prevail which express 
the creative fantasy in richest measure; in fact, one 
must protect oneself against the excess of fantasy. We, 
on the other hand, look upon fantasy as paltry subjective 
reverie. The figures of the unconscious naturally do not 
appear as abstract and denuded of all accessories, but, 
on the contrary, are embedded and interwoven «a a. 
web of -fantasies of an infinite variety and a bewildering 

119 , - 

abundance. The East can reject these fantasies because 
it has long ago sucked the juice from them and stored it 
in condensed form in formulae of profound wisdom. But 
we have never even experienced these fantasies, much 
less extracted the "quintessence from them. We have 
here to catch up with a large portion of experience, and, 
only when we have found the sense in apparent nonsense, 
can we separate the valueless from the valuable. We may- 
rest assured that what we extract from our experiences 
will be something quite different from what the East 
offers us to-day. The East came to its knowledge of 
inner things with a childish ignorance of the world. We, 
on the other hand, will investigate the psyche and its 
depths, supported by a tremendously extensive historical 
and scientific knowledge. At this present moment indeed, 
knowledge of the external world is the greatest obstacle 
to introspection, but the psychological need will overcome 
all obstructions. We are already building up a psychology, 
a science, that is, which gives us a key to things to which 
the East found entrance only through abnormal psychic 





By understanding the unconscious we free ourselves 
from its domination. That is the basis and also the aim 
of the instructions in our text. The pupil is taught how 
he must concentrate on the Light of the inmost region, 
and, at the same time, free himself from all outer and 
inner bondage. His life-will is guided toward a conscious- 
ness without content which none the less permits all 
contents to exist. The Hui Ming Ching says about this 
detachment : — 

" A radiance of Light surrounds the world of the mind. 
We forget each other, quiet and pure, all-powerful and 

Emptiness is lighted up by the radiance of the Heart of 

The sea is smooth and mirrors the moon on its surface. 
The clouds vanish in blue space. 
The mountains shine clear. 
Consciousness dissolves itself in vision. 
The disk of the moon floats solitary." 

This description of the state of fulfilment pictures a 
psychic condition which could perhaps best be 
characterized as a detachment of consciousness from the 
world, and a withdrawal of it to an extra-mundane pointy 
so to speak. In this way, consciousness is both empty 
and not empty. It is no longer preoccupied with the. 
images of things but merely contains them. The fnfifeess 
of the world which heretofore pressed upon h% loses bbs© 
of its richness and beauty, but no longer rules eor^^^s 
ness. The magical claim of things has 


primordial interweaving of consciousness with the world * 
has finally been disentangled. The unconscious is not 
projected any more, and so the primal participation 
mystique with things is abolished. Therefore, conscious- 
ness is no longer preoccupied with compulsive motives, 
but becomes vision, as the Chinese text very aptly says. 
How did this effect come about ? (We grant at the 
outset that the Chinese author was first of all not a liar ; 
secondly, that he was of sound mind ; and, thirdly, that 
he was even an extraordinarily intelligent man.) To 
understand or explain the detachment described in the 
text it is necessary for our minds to take a roundabout 
way. It cannot be done by mimicry, for nothing would 
be more childish than to wish to imitate and scstheticize 
such a condition of the psyche. This detachment is an 
effect which I know very well from my professional 
practice ; it is the therapeutic effect par excellence, for 
which I labour with my students and patients ; it aims 
toward the dissolution of participation mystique. With 
a stroke of genius, Levy-Briihl 1 has laid down the condition 
he calls participation mystique as the hall-mark of primitive 
mentality. As described by him it is simply the 
indefinitely large remnant of non-differentiation between 
subject and object, which among primitives is still of 
such proportions that it cannot fail to strike the European 
consciousness. In so far as the difference between subject 
and object is not conscious, unconscious identity prevails. 
Then the unconscious is projected into the object, and 
the object is introjected into the subject, that is to say, 
made part of the subjects' psychology. Plants and 
animals behave like men ; men are at the same time 
themselves and animals also, and everything is alive with 
spectres and gods. The civilized man regards himself 

1 Primitive Mentality. London: Allen and Unwin. 


naturally as immeasurably above these things. None 
the less, he is often identified with his parents for his 
whole life, or he is identified with his affects, and shame- 
lessly accuses others of the things he will not see in himself. 
He too, in a word, has still a remnant of primal 
unconsciousness, or the state of non-differentiation between 
subject and object. On account of this unconsciousness, 
he is magically affected by countless people, things, and 
circumstances, that is to say, unconditionally influenced. 
Nearly as much as the primitive, he is beset by disturbing 
contents and therefore needs just as many apotropseic 
charms. He no longer works the magic with medicine 
bags, amulets, and animal sacrifices, but with nerve- 
remedies, neuroses, " enlightenment," cults of the will, etc. 

But if the unconscious can be recognized as a 
co-determining quantity along with the conscious* and 
if it can be lived in such a way that conscious and 
unconscious (in a narrower sense instinctive) demands 
are given recognition as far as possible, the centre of 
gravity of the total personality shifts its position. It 
ceases to be in the ego, which is merely the centre of 
consciousness, and is located instead, in what might be 
called a virtual point between the conscious and the 
unconscious. This new centre might be called tHe self. 
If such a transposition succeeds, it results in doing away 
with participation mystique, and there develops a 
personality who, so to speak, suffers only in the inferior 
parts of himself, but in the superior regions, to carry 
out the figure, is singularly detached from painful as 
well as pleasing events. 

The integration and birth of this superior personality 
is the achievement meant by our text when it speaks 
of the " holy fruit ", the " diamond body ", or of any 
other sort of indestructible body. These expressions are 


psychologically symbolical of an attitude which is 
invulnerable to emotional entanglements and violent 
upheavals ; in a word, they symbolize a consciousness 
freed from the world. I have reasons for believing that 
this is a natural preparation for death, and sets in after 
middle life. Death is psychologically just as important 
as birth and, like this, is an integral part of life. It is 
not the psychologist who must be questioned as to what 
happens finally to the detached consciousness. Whatever 
theoretical position he assumed, he would hopelessly 
overstep the boundaries of his scientific competence. He 
can only point out that the views of our text with respect 
to the timelessness of the detached consciousness, are in 
harmony with the religious thought of all times and with 
that of the overwhelming majority of mankind. He can 
say, further, that anyone who does not think this way 
would stand outside the human order, and would, there- 
fore, be suffering from a disturbance in his psychic 
equilibrium. As physician then, I make the greatest 
effort to fortify, so far as I have the power, a belief in 
immortality, especially in my older patients to whom such 
questions come menacingly near. If viewed correctly in 
the psychological sense, death, indeed, is not an end but 
a goal, and therefore life for death begins as soon as the 
meridian is passed. 

Chinese yoga philosophy bases itself upon the fact 
of this instinctive preparation for death as a goal, and, 
following the analogy with the goal of the first half of 
life, namely, begetting and reproduction, or the means 
towards perpetuation of physical life, it takes as the aim 
of spiritual existence, the begetting and perpetuation of 
a psychic spirit-body (" subtle body "), which ensures the 
continuity of the detached consciousness. It is the birth 
of the pneumatic man, known to the European from 


antiquity, but which he seeks to produce by quite other 
symbols and magical practices, by faith and Christian 
way of life. Here again we stand on a basis quite different 
from that of the East. Again the text sounds as though 
it were not very far from Christian ascetic morality, but 
nothing would be further from the truth than to assume 
that it is actually dealing with the same thing. Behind 
our text is a culture thousands of years old, one which 
has been developed out of, and beyond, primitive instincts, 
and which, therefore, knows nothing about the brutal 
morality suited to us as recently civilized, barbaric 
Teutonic peoples. For this reason, there is lacking to the 
Chinese that impulse toward violent repression of the 
instincts which makes our spirituality hysterically 
exaggerated and poisonous. Whoever lives his instincts 
can also separate from them, and in just as natural a way 
as he lived them. Any idea of heroic self-conquest would 
be entirely foreign to the sense of our text, but it would 
inevitably amount to that if we followed the Chinese 
instructions literally. 

We must never forget our historical premises. Only 
a little more than a thousand years ago, we stumbled 
from the crudest beghinings of polytheism into the midst 
of a highly developed, oriental religion which lifted the 
imaginative minds of half-savages to a height which did 
not correspond to their degree of mental development. 
In order to keep to this height in some fashion or other, 
it was unavoidable that the sphere of the instincts should 
be thoroughly repressed. Therefore, religious practice 
and morality took on an outspokenly brutal, almost 
malicious, character. The repressed elements are naturally 
not developed, but vegetate further in the unconscious 
and in their original barbarism. We would like to climb 
the heights of a philosophical religion, but are, in fact, 


incapable of it. The best we can do is to grow up to it. 
The Amfortas wound and the Faustian conflict in the 
Germanic man are not yet healed ; his unconscious is 
still loaded with contents which must first be made 
conscious before he can be free of them. Recently I 
received a letter from a former patient which pictures 
the necessary transformation in simple but expressive 
words. She writes : " Out of evil, much good has come 
to me. By keeping quiet, repressing nothing, remaining 
attentive, and hand in hand with that, by accepting 
reality — taking things as they are, and not as I wanted 
them to be — by doing all this, rare knowledge has come 
to me, and rare powers as well, such as I could never have 
imagined before. I always thought that, when we accept 
things, they overpower us in one way or another. Now 
this is not true at all, and it is only by accepting them that 
one can define an attitude toward them. 1 So now I intend 
playing the game of life, being receptive to whatever 
comes to me, good and bad, sun and shadow that are 
for ever shifting, and, in this way, also accepting my own 
nature with its positive and negative sides. Thus every- 
thing becomes more alive to me. What a fool I was ! 
How I tried to force everything to go according to my 
idea ! " 

Only on the basis of such an attitude, which renounces 
none of the values won in the course of Christian develop- 
ment, but which, on the contrary, tries with Christian 
charity and forbearance to accept the humblest things 
in oneself, will a higher level of consciousness and culture 
be possible. This attitude is religious in the truest sense, 
and therefore therapeutic, for all religions are therapies 
for the sorrows and disorders of the soul . The development 
of Western intellect and will has lent us the almost devilish 

1 Dissolution of participation mystique. 

capacity for imitating such an attitude, apparently with 
success too, despite the protests of the unconscious. But 
it is only a matter of time when the counter position 
always forces recognition of itself with an even harsher 
contrast. A more and more unsafe situation comes about 
by reason of this crass imitation, and, at any time, can 
be overthrown by the unconscious. A safe foundation is 
only found when the instinctive premises of the unconscious 
win the same recognition as the view-points of the 
conscious. No one will deceive himself as to the fact 
that this necessary recognition of the unconscious stands 
in violent opposition to the Western Christian, and 
especially to the Protestant, cult of consciousness. Despite 
the fact that the new is always hostile to the old, a deep 
desire to understand cannot fail to discover that, without 
the more serious application of our acquired Christian 
values, the new can never gain ground. 


The growing acquaintanceship with the spiritual 
East should mean to us only a symbolical expression of 
the fact that we are entering into connection with the 
strange elements in ourselves. Denial of our own historical 
premises would be sheer folly and would be the best way 
to bring about a second uprooting of consciousness. Only 
by standing firmly on our own soil can we assimilate the 
spirit of the East. 

Describing people who do not know where the true 
springs of secret powers lie, the old master, Ku Te, says : 
" Worldly people lose the roots and cling to the tree- 
tops." The spirit of the East has come out of the yellow 
earth, and our spirit can, and should, only come out of 
our own earth. It is for this reason that I approach these 
problems in a way that has often been criticized as. being 
" psychologism ". If " psychology " were meant, I should 
be flattered, because it is really my purpose to push aside, 
without mercy, the metaphysical claims of all esoteric 
teaching. Secret motives of gaining power through words 
are in ill accord with the profound ignorance which we 
should have the humility to confess. It is my firm 
intention to bring into the daylight of psychological under- 
standing, things which have a metaphysical sound, and 
to do my best to prevent the public from believing in 
obscure power- words. Let the convinced Christian believe, 
for that is the duty he has taken upon himself, but the 
non-Christian has forfeited the grace of faith (perhaps 
he was cursed from birth in not being able to believe, but 
only to know). Therefore, he has no right to put his 


faith elsewhere. To understand metaphysically is 
impossible ; it can only be done psychologically I there- 
fore strip things of their metaphysical wrappings in order 
to make them objects of psychology. In this way, I can 
at least get something comprehensible out of them, and 
can avail myself of it. Moreover, I learn psychological 
conditions and processes which before were veiled in 
symbols and out of reach of my understanding. In doing 
this I am also enabled to follow a path similar to the 
alleged metaphysical one, and can have similar experiences. 
Finally, if there should still lurk something metaphysical 
that cannot be formulated, it would then have the best 
opportunity of showing itself. 

To be specific in this matter, I can say that my admira- 
tion for the great Eastern philosophers is as great and as 
indubitable as my attitude toward their metaphysics is 
irreverent. 1 I suspect them of being symbolical psycho- 
logists, to whom no greater wrong could be done than to 
be taken literally. If it were really metaphysics that they 
mean, it would be useless to try to understand them. But 
if it is psychology, we can not only understand them, but 
we can profit greatly by them, for then the so-called 
" metaphysical " comes within the range of experience. 
If I accept the fact that a god is absolute and beyond all 
human experience, he leaves me cold. I do not affect 
him, nor does he affect me. But if I know, on the other 
hand, that God is a mighty activity in my soul, at once 
I must concern myself with him ; he can then become 
even unpleasantly important, and in practical ways too, 
which sounds horribly banal, like everything appearing 
in the sphere of reality. 

The reproach of " psychologism " applies only to a 

1 The Chinese philosophers, in contrast to the dogmatists of tie West, are 
only grateful for such an attitude, beeause they are masters of their gods also, 
(R. W.) 

fool who thinks he has his soul in his pocket ; there are 
certainly more than enough such fools, because, although 
we know how to speak big words about the " soul ", the 
depreciation of psychic things is still a typical Western 
prejudice. If I make use of the concept "autonomous 
psychic complex", my public meets it with the ready- 
made prejudice, " nothing but a psychic complex." 
Why is one so certain that the soul is " nothing but " ? 
It is as if we did not know, or else continually forgot, that 
everything of which we are conscious is an image, and 
that the psyche is made up of images. The same persons 
who think that God is depreciated if he is understood to 
be the thing which is moved, as well as the moving force 
of the soul, that is an " autonomous complex ", these 
persons can be so persecuted by uncontrollable affects 
and neurotic states of mind that their wills and their 
whole wisdom of life become pitiably inadequate. Has 
the soul then shown its impotence ? Should Master 
Eckehart also be reproached with " psychologism " when 
he says : " God must be brought to birth in the soul 
again and again ? " I think the accusation of " psycho- 
logism " can only be cited against an intellect which denies 
the true nature of the autonomous complex, and seeks to 
explain it rationally as the result of known facts, that is, 
as non-existent. This latter judgment is just as arrogant 
as the " metaphysical " assertion which, overstepping 
human limitations, entrusts a deity who is outside the 
range of our experience with the bringing about of our 
psychic states. " Psychologism " is simply the counter- 
part of the over-reaching attitude of metaphysics, and 
just as childish as the latter. But it seems to me far more 
reasonable to accord the psyche the same validity as is 
given the empirical world, and to admit that the former 
has just as much " reality *' as the latter. As I see it, the 


psyche is a world in which the ego is contained. Perhaps 
there are also fishes who believe that they contain the sea. 
It is our responsibility to do away with this pervasive 
illusion if metaphysics is to be approached from the 
psychological standpoint. 

Our text gives us a metaphysical concept of this 
kind, that is. one which must be understood psycho- 
logically ; it is the idea of the " diamond body ", the 
indestructible breath-body which develops in the Golden 
Flower, or in square-inch space. 1 This body is a symbol 
for a remarkable psychological fact, which, because it is 
objective, appears at first projected or expressed in forms 
furnished by the experiences of organic life, that is, as 
fruit, embryo, child, living body, etc. This fact could 
best be expressed in the words : It is not I who live, it 
lives me. The illusion as to the superior powers of the 

1 To a certain extent, our text leaves open the question as to whether by 
a " continuation of life " a survival after death or a prolongation of physical 
existence is meant . Expressions such as life-elixir and the like are insidiously obscure. 
In the later additions it becomes evident that the yoga instructions are understood 
in a purely physical sense. To a more primitive mind, there is nothing disturbing 
in this odd mixture of the physical and the spiritual, nor do life and death begin 
to stand for complete opposites as with us. (Besides the well-known ethnological 
material, there are the " communications " of the English *' rescue circles " which, 
with their thoroughly archaic ideas, are particularly interesting in this connection.) 
The same ambiguity about immortality is also present in early Christianity where 
it depends on quite similar assumptions, that is, on the idea of a " breath-body ", 
the essential carrier of life. Geley's para-psychological theory would be the latest 
reincarnation of this ancient idea. But since we have in our text, also, warnings 
against the application of the idea in a superstitious way (for example, the superstition 
about making gold), we can confidently insist on the spiritual meaning of the text. 
In the conditions which the instructions seek to produce, the physical body plays 
an increasingly inessential role because of being replaced by the " spirit body " 
(therefore, the importance of breathing in yoga practice in general). The " breath- 
body " is not '* spiritual " in our sense. It is characteristic of the Westerner that, 
for purposes of knowledge, he has split apart the physical and the spiritual sides of 
life, but these opposites lie together in the psyche, and psychology must recognize 
the fact. The " psychic " is both physical and mental. The ideas in our text all 
have to do with this " intermediate " world which seems unclear and confused to 
us because the concept of psychic reality is not yet current among us, although it 
expresses the actual sphere of life. Without the psyche, mind is as dead as matter, 
because both are artificial abstractions ; to primordial intuitions, however, mind 
is a volatile body, and matter is not lacking in soul. 


conscious leads to the belief : I live. If, by the recognition 
of the unconscious, this illusion is shattered, the 
unconscious appears as something objective of which the 
ego is a part. -The attitude toward the unconscious is 
then analogous to the feeling of a primitive man to whom 
a son guarantees continuation of life. This is a thoroughly 
characteristic feeling which can even assume grotesque 
forms as in the case of the old negro, who, in a rage, called 
out to his disobedient son : " There he stands, with my 
body, if you please, but does not even obey me ! " 

The fact that the unconscious is looked upon as some- 
thing in which the ego is contained, brings about a change 
in inner feeling similar to that experienced by a father 
to whom a son has been born, a change known to us through 
the confession of the Apostle Paul : " No longer do I live, 
but Christ liveth in me." The symbol " Christus " as 
the " son of man " leads to an analogous psychic 
experience. It is as if a higher spiritual being of human 
form were invisibly born in the individual as a spiritual 
body which is to serve us as a future dwelling, a body 
which, as Paul expresses himself, is put on like a garment 
(" Ye who have put on Christ "). Obviously it is always 
an unfortunate thing to express, in intellectual terms, 
subtle feelings which are none the less infinitely important 
for the life and well-being of the individual. In a certain 
sense, the thing we are trying to express is the feeling 
of having been " replaced ", but without the connotation 
of having been " deposed ". It is as if the leadership of 
the affairs of life had gone over to an invisible centre. 
Nietzsche's metaphor, "In most loving bondage, free," 1 
would be appropriate here. Religious speech is full of 
imaginative expressions that picture this feeling of free 
dependence, of calm and devotion. 

1 " Fret in liebevollstem Muss" 

In this remarkable experience I see a phenomenon 
resulting from the detachment of consciousness, through 
which the subjective " I live ", becomes the objective 
" It lives me ". This condition is felt to be higher than 
the earlier one ; it is really as if it were a sort of release 
from compulsion and impossible responsibility which are 
the inevitable results of participation mystique. This 
feeling of release filled Paul completely. It is the conscious- 
ness of being a child of God which then frees one from the 
spell of the blood. Also, it is a feeling of reconciliation 
with what is happening, and that is the reason that the 
glance of " one who has attained fulfilment ", according 
to the Hui Ming Ching, returns to the beauty of nature. 

In the Pauline Christ-symbol the deepest religious 
experience of the West and East meet. On the one hand, 
Christ the sorrow-laden hero; on the other, the Golden 
Flower that blooms in the purple hall of the city of jade — 
what a contrast, what an unfathomable difference, what 
an abyss of history ! This is a problem fit to be the 
master-work of a future psychologist. 

Among the so-called great religious problems of the 
present, there is to be found one which, from the attention 
accorded it, might be assumed to be quite a small one, 
but which, in fact, is the main problem of our day, namely, 
the problem of the progress of religious spirit. 1 If that 
is discussed, it is necessary to emphasize the difference 
between the East and the West in their treatment of the 
" jewel ", that is, the central symbol. The West emphasizes 
the becoming human, and even the personality and 
historicity of Christ, while the East says: *' Without 
beginning, without end, without past, without future," * 
Following his conception, the Christian subordinates 

1 For the sake of clarity of meaning the author has amplified the above sentence 
for this edition. (C. F. B.) 
J But Ming Cking, p. 108. 



himself to the superior, divine person in expectation of 
his grace ; but the Eastern man knows that redemption 
depends on the '* works " a person devotes to himself. 
Out of the individual grows the whole Tao. The Imitatio 
Christi will for ever have this disadvantage : we worship 
a man as a divine model embodying the deepest meaning 
of life, and then, out of sheer imitation, we forget to make 
real the profound meaning present in ourselves. As a 
matter of fact, it is not altogether uncomfortable to 
renounce one's real meaning. If Jesus had done that, he 
would have become a respectable carpenter, and not the 
religious rebel, to whom the same thing would happen 
to-day as happened then. 

Imitation of Christ can easily be understood in a 
deeper way. It can be taken as the duty to put into reality 
one's best conviction, always the completest expression 
of individual temperament, with the same courage and 
self-sacrifice shown by Jesus. Happily not everyone has 
the task of being a leader of humanity, or a great rebel ; 
and so, after all, it is quite possible for each to realize 
himself in his own way. Perfect honesty might even 
become an ideal. Since great innovations always begin 
in the most improbable places, the fact, for example, that 
a man is not nearly as ashamed of his nakedness as he 
used to be, might be the beginning of a recognition of 
himself as he is. Hard upon this will follow the recognition 
of many other things that are now strictly taboo, because 
the reality of the earth will not for ever remain veiled like 
the virgines velandce of Tertullian. Moral unmasking is 
only one step further in the same direction, and behold,* 
there stands a man as he is, and confesses himself to be 
as he is. If he does this in a meaningless way, he is a 
chaotic fool, but if he knows the significance of what he 
does, he can belong to a higher order of man who, regardless 


of suffering, makes real the Christ symbol. It can often 
be observed, that wholly concrete taboos or magical 
rites in an early stage of a religion, become in the next 
stage, a matter of concern to the soul, or even purely 
spiritual symbols. An external law can, in the course of 
development, become an inner conviction. Thus it 
could easily happen to the Protestant that the person 
Jesus, now removed by centuries, could become the 
superior man within himself. There would then be reached 
in a European way, the psychological condition corre- 
sponding to that of the " enlightened one " in the 
Eastern sense. 

All this is a step in the developmental process of a 
higher human consciousness that finds itself on the way 
toward unknown goals ; it is not metaphysics in the 
ordinary sense. In the first place, and thus far, it is only 
" psychology ", but also thus far it can be experienced, 
it is intelligible, and — thank God — it is real, a reality 
with which something can be done, a reality containing 
possibilities and therefore alive. The fact that I restrict 
myself to what can be psychically experienced, and 
repudiate the metaphysical, does not mean, as anyone 
with insight can understand, a gesture of scepticism or 
agnosticism pointed against faith or trust in higher 
powers, but what I intend to say is approximately the 
same thing Kant meant when he called " das Ding an 
sick " (the thing in itself), a " purely negative, border- 
line " concept. Every statement about the transcendental 
ought to be avoided because it is invariably a laughable 
presumption on the part of the human mind, unconscious 
of its limitations. Therefore, when God or Too is spoken 
of as a stirring of, or a condition of, the soul, something 
has been said about the knowable only, but nothing about 
the unknowable. Of the latter, nothing can be determined! 

k-i 135 


The aim of my commentary is the effort to build a 
bridge of psychological understanding between East and 
West. The basis of every, real understanding is man, and 
therefore I had to speak of human things. That must 
excuse me for having dealt only with the general aspects, 
and for not having entered into what is specifically 
technical. Technical instructions are valuable for those 
who know for example, what a photographic apparatus 
or a motor is, but they are useless for anyone who has no 
idea of such apparatus. Yet the Western man for 
whom I write finds himself in this situation, that is, 
ignorant of his own apparatus. Therefore it seemed 
above all important to me, to emphasize the agreement 
between the psychic conditions and the symbolism of 
East and West, because, by means of these analogies, 
there is opened a way to the inner chambers of the Eastern 
mind. This way does not demand the sacrifice of our 
own nature and does not threaten us with being torn 
from our roots. Furthermore, it is not an intellectual 
telescope, or microscope, offering a view which at bottom 
does not concern us because it does not grip us. It is 
rather the atmosphere of suffering, seeking, and striving 
common to all civilized peoples ; it is the tremendous 
experiment of becoming conscious, which nature has 
imposed on mankind, uniting the most diverse cultures 
in a common task. 

Western consciousness is by no means consciousness 
in general, but rather a historically conditioned, and 
%eographically limited, factor, representative of only one 


part of humanity. The widening of our own conscious- 
ness ought not to proceed at the expense of other kinds 
of consciousness, but ought to take place through the 
development of those elements of our psyche which are 
analogous to those of a foreign psyche, just as the East 
cannot do without our technique, science, and industry. 
The European invasion of the East was a deed of violence 
on a great scale, and it has left us the duty — noblesse 
oblige — of understanding the mind of the East. This is 
perhaps more necessary than we realize at present. 


These pictures have been made in the way described 
in the text, by patients during the course of treatment. 
The earliest picture dates from 1916. All the pictures 
have been done independently of any Eastern influence. 
The I Ching hexagrams in picture No. 4 come from the 
reading of Legge's translation in the Sacred Books of the 
East series but they were only put into the picture because 
their content seemed, to the academically educated 
patient, especially meaningful in her life. No European 
mandalas known to me (I have a fairly large collection)} 
achieve the conventionally and traditionally established 
harmony and completeness of the Eastern trumfyeku-&„ 
Therefore, from the infinite variety of European memMm^i, 
I have made a choice of ten pictures, which, at least 
when taken as a whole, ought to illustrate clearly the 
parallelism between Eastern philosophy and unconscious 
European ideas in their formative state. 

C. G. Jung. 

'* 'i,,, 137 


1. $ The Golden Flower represented as the most splendid of all flowers. 

2. $ In the centre, the Golden Flower ; radiating out from it, fishes as fertility , 
symbols (corresponding to the thunderbolts of the lamaist mandalas). 

3. 6* A luminous flower in the centre, with stars rotating about it. Around 
the flower, walls with eight gates. The whole conceived as a transparent window. 

4. $ Separation of the air and earth. (Birds and serpents.) In the centre a 
flower with a golden star. 

5. § Separation of the light, from the dark world ; the divine from the earhtly 
soul. In the centre a representation of contemplation. 

6. <? In the centre, the white light shining in the firmament ; in the first circle, 
protoplasmic life-seeds ; in the second, rotating cosmic principles which contain 
the four fundamental colours ; in the third and fourth, a creative force working 
inward and outward. At the cardinal points, the masculine and feminine souls, 
both again divided into light and dark. 

7. $ Representation of tetraklys in rotating movement. 

8. $ The child in the germinal vesicle with the four fundamental colours 
included in the circular movement. 

9. $ In the centre, the germinal vesicle with human figure nourished by blood 
vessels which have their origin in the cosmos. The cosmos rotates around the 
centre which attracts its emanations. Around the outside is spread nervous tissue 
indicating that the process is going on in the solar plexus. 

10. <? A mandala as a .fortified city with walls and moats. Within, a broad 
moat surrounded by a wall, fortified with sixteen towers and another moat following 
this wall. The last moat surrounds a central castle with golden roofs whose centre 
is a golden temple. 



In Memory of Richard Wilhelm 1 
By C. G. Jung 

It is no easy task for me to speak of Richard Wilhelm 
and his work, because, starting very far away from one 
another, our ways crossed in a comet-like fashion. You 
probably knew Wilhelm before I became acquainted with 
him, and his life-work has a range which I have not 
encompassed. Nor have I seen the China that first 
shaped and later continued to engross him, nor am I 
familiar with its language, the living spiritual expression 
of the Chinese East. I stand, indeed, as a stranger outside 
that vast territory of knowledge and experience in which 
Wilhelm worked as a master of his profession. He as a 
sinologue, and I a physician, should never have come 
into contact with one another had we remained specialists. 
But we met in a field of humanity which begins beyond 
academic boundary posts. There lay our point of contact ; 
there the spark leaped across that kindled the light which 
was to become for me, one of the most meaningful events 
of my life. Because of this experience I may speak of 
Wilhelm and his work, thinking with grateful reverence 
of this mind which created a bridge between East and 
West and gave to the Occident the heirship to a precious 
culture thousands of years old, a culture perhaps destined 
to disappear. 

Wilhelm possessed the mastership which is only 

1 This memorial address was delivered in Munich, May 10th, 1930. 


won by the man who surmounts his speciality, and so 
his science became a concern touching all humanity — 
I must not say became — it was that at the beginning and 
remained so always. For what else could have freed him 
from the narrow horizons of the European, of the 
missionary, in fact, so that no sooner had he encountered 
the secret of the Chinese soul than he perceived the 
treasure hidden there for us, and sacrificed his European 
prejudice on behalf of this rare pearl ? It could only 
have been an all-embracing humanness, a greatness of 
heart that divines the whole, which enabled him to open 
himself without reservation to a profoundly foreign 
spirit, and to put at the service of this influence the 
manifold gifts and capacities of his mind. Reaching 
beyond all Christian resentiment, beyond all European 
presumption, his comprehending devotion is in itself 
witness of a rarely great spirit, whereas all mediocre minds 
in contact with a foreign culture either lose themselves 
in blind self-deracination, or in an equally uncomprehend- 
ing, as well as presumptuous, passion for criticism. 
Touching only the superficialities and externals of the 
foreign culture, they never eat its bread nor drink its 
wine, and so never enter into the communio spiritus, that 
most intimate transfusion and interpenetration which 
prepares a new birth. 

As a rule, the specialist's is a purely masculine mind, 
an intellect to which fertilization is a foreign and unnatural 
process, therefore it is an especially ill-adapted tool for 
receiving and bringing to birth a foreign spirit. But a 
greater mind bears the stamp of the feminine, and is 
given a receptive and fruitful womb which can re-shape 
what is strange into a familiar form. Wilhelm possessed 
in the, highest degree the rare charisma of spiritual mother- 
* Jiiood." To it he owed his unequalled ability to feel his 


way into the spirit of the East, which made possible his 
incomparable translations. 

To me, the greatest of his achievements is the transla- 
tion of, and commentary on, the I Ching. Before I learned 
to know Wilhelm's translation, I had for years worked 
with Legge's inadequate translation, and was therefore in 
a position to recognize fully the extraordinary difference. 
Wilhelm has succeeded in bringing to life again in a new 
and vital form, this ancient work in which not only many 
sinologues, but even many modern Chinese as well, can 
see nothing but a collection of absurd magical formulae. 
This work embodies, as perhaps no other, the spirit of 
Chinese culture. The best minds of China have collaborated 
upon it and contributed to it for thousands of years. 
Despite its fabulous age, it has never grown old, but lives 
and operates still, at least for those who understand its 
meaning. That we too belong to this favoured group, we 
owe to the creative efforts of Wilhelm. He has brought 
this work close to us, not only through careful translation, 
but also through his personal experience, on the one hand, 
as a pupil of a Chinese master of the old school, on the 
other, as an initiate in the psychology of Chinese yoga, 
to whom the practical application of the / Ching was an 
ever-renewed experience. 

But with these rich gifts, Wilhelm has also bequeathed 
us a task whose magnitude we may, at the present time, 
suspect, but certainly cannot fathom. Anyone like 
myself, who has had the rare good fortune to experience 
in a spiritual exchange with Wilhelm, the divinatory 
power of the I Ching, cannot for long remain ignorant 
of the fact that we have touched here an Archimedean 
point from which our Western attitude of mind ean be 
shaken to its foundations. Truly it is no small ser^ee to 
have produced for us, as Wilhelm did, such an inclusive 


and richly-coloured painting of a foreign culture, but it 
will be almost nothing in comparison with the fact that, 
over and beyond this, he has infected us with a living 
germ of the Chinese spirit, which is capable of making 
an essential change in our world picture. We have not 
remained merely admiring or critical observers, but have 
become participants of the Eastern spirit in so far as we 
have succeeded in experiencing the living potency of the 
I Ching. 

The function on which the use of the / Ching is based, 
if I may so express myself, is apparently in sharp contradic- 
tion to our Western, scientifically-causal, Weltanschauung. 
In other words, it is extremely unscientific, taboo in 
fact, and therefore out of reach of our scientific judgment, 
and incomprehensible to it. 

Some years ago, the then president of the British 
Anthropological Society asked me how I could explain 
the fact that so highly intellectual a people as the Chinese 
had produced no science. I replied that this must really 
be an " optical illusion ", because the Chinese did have 
a science whose " standard work " was the I Ching, but 
that the principle of this science, like so much else in 
China, was altogether different from our scientific 

The science of the I Ching is not based on the causality 
principle, but on a principle (hitherto unnamed because 
not met with among us) which I have tentatively called 
the synchronistic principle. My occupation with the 
psychology of unconscious processes long ago necessitated 
my looking about for another principle of explanation, 
because the causality principle seemed to me inadequate 
to explain certain remarkable phenomena of the psychology 
of the unconscious. Thus I found that there are psychic 
parallelisms which' cannot be related to each other 


causally, but which must be connected through another 
sequence of events. This connection seemed to me 
to be essentially provided in the fact of the relative 
simultaneity, therefore the expression " synchronistic ". 
It seems indeed, as though time, far from being an 
abstraction, is a concrete continuum which contains 
qualities or basic conditions manifesting themselves 
simultaneously in various places hi a way not to be 
explained by causal parallelisms, as, for example, in 
cases of the coincident appearance of identical thoughts, 
symbols, or psychic conditions. Another example would 
be the simultaneity of Chinese and European periods of 
style, a fact pointed out by Wilhelm. They could never 
have been causally related to one another. Astrology 
would be a large scale example of synchronism, if it had 
at its disposal thoroughly tested findings. But at least 
there are some facts adequately tested and fortified by a 
wealth of statistics which make the astrological problem 
seem worthy of philosophical investigation. (It is assured 
of recognition from psychology, without further restric- 
tions, because astrology represents the summation of all 
the psychological knowledge of antiquity.) 

The fact that it is possible to construct, in adequate 
fashion, a person's character from the data of his nativity, 
shows the relative validity of astrology. But the birth 
never depends on the actual astronomical constellations, 
but upon an arbitrary, purely conceptual time-system, 
because by reason of the precession of the equinoxes, the 
spring point has long ago passed on beyond zero degree 
Aries. In so far as there are any really correct astrological 
deductions, they are not due to the effects of the constella- 
tions, but to our hypothetical time-characters. In other 
words, whatever is born or done this moment of time, has 
the qualities of this moment of time. 


This is also the fundamental formula for the use of 
the I Ching. As is known, one gains knowledge of the 
hexagram characterizing the moment by a method of 
manipulating sticks of yarrow, or coins, a method depend- 
ing on purest chance. As the moment is, so do the runic 
sticks fall. The only question is : Did the old King 
W&n, and the Duke of Chou, in the year 1000 B.C., interpret 
the accidental picture made by 'the fallen runic sticks 
correctly or not ? As to this, experience alone can decide. 

At his first lecture at the Psychological Club in 
Zurich, Wilhelm, at my request, demonstrated the 
method of consulting the I Ching, and, at the same time, 
made a prognosis, which, in less than two years, was 
fulfilled to the letter and with unmistakable clearness. 
This fact could be further confirmed by many parallel 
experiences. However, I am not concerned with 
establishing objectively the validity of the prophecies of 
the I Ching, but take it as a premise, just as my deceased 
friend did. Therefore, I am only going to discuss the 
amazing fact that the qualitas occulta of the time-moment 
became legible by means of the hexagram of the I Ching. 
One is dealing with a relationship of events, not only 
analogous to astrology, but essentially related to it. The 
birth corresponds to the sticks that are thrown, the 
constellation to the hexagram, and the astrological 
interpretation arising from the constellation corresponds 
to the text appropriate to the hexagram. 

The type of thought built on the synchronistic 
principle, which reaches its high point in the I Ching, is 
the purest expression <j£ Chinese thinking in general. 
With us, this thinking has been absent from the history 
of philosophy since the time of Heraclitus, and only 
reappears as a faint echo in Leibnitz. However, in the 
time between, it was not extinguished, but continued to 


live in the twilight of astrological speculation, and remains 
to-day at this level. 

At this point the / Ching touches the need of further 
development in us. Occultism has enjoyed in our times 
a renaissance which is really without a parallel. The 
light of the Western mind is nearly darkened by it. I am 
not thinking now of our seats of learning and their 
representatives. I am a physician and deal with ordinary 
people, and therefore I know that the universities have 
ceased to act as disseminators of light. People have 
become weary of scientific specialization and rationalistic 
intellectualism. They want to hear truths which do not 
make them narrower but broader, which do not obscure 
but enlighten, which do not run off them like water, but 
pierce them to the marrow. This search threatens to 
lead a large, if anonymous, public into wrong paths. 

When I think of Wilhelm's achievement and 
significance, I am reminded of Anquetil du Perron, the 
Frenchman who brought the first translation of the 
Upanishads to Europe just at the period when, for the 
first time in almost 1,800 years, something unheard-of 
occurred, and the goddess of reason drove the Christian 
Godhead from the throne in Notre Dame. To-day, when, 
in Russia, there occur things far more unheard-of than 
at that time in Paris, when, in Europe itself, the Christian 
symbol has reached such a condition of feebleness that 
even the Buddhists think the right moment has come for 
a mission in Europe, it is Wilhelm, who, as though chosen 
from the soul of Europe, brings us a new light from the 
East. This is the cultural task to which Wilhelm felt 
himself called. He recognized how much the East could 
give toward the healing of our spiritual need. 

A beggar is not helped by our giving him outright 
more or less generous alms, although he may desire it. 


He is much better helped if we show him the way to free 

himself permanently of his need by work. Unfortunately, 

the spiritual beggars of our time are all too inclined to 

accept the alms of the East in specie, that is, to appropriate 

unthinkingly the spiritual possessions of the East and to 

imitate its way blindly. That is the danger about which 

it is impossible to give too many warnings, and the one 

which Wilhelm also felt very clearly. Spiritual Europe 

is not helped by what is merely a new sensation or a new 

titillation to the nerves . What it has taken China thousands 

of years to build cannot be stolen by us. We must learn 

to acquire it in order to possess it. What the East has 

to give us should be merely a help in a work which we still 

have to do. Of what use to us is the wisdom of the 

Upanishads or the insight of the Chinese yoga, if we desert 

the foundations of our own culture as though they were 

outlived errors, and, like homeless pirates, settle with 

thievish intent on foreign shores ? The insight of the 

East, above all, the wisdom of the I Ching, has no meaning 

when we close our minds to our own problems, when we 

lead artificially arranged lives on the basis of conventional 

prejudices, when we veil from ourselves our real human 

nature with all its dangerous, subterranean elements, 

and its darkness ? The light of this wisdom only shines 

in the dark, not in the electric searchlight of the European 

theatre of consciousness and will. The wisdom of the 

2" Ching, has originated from a background, whose horror 

we can faintly suspect if we read of Chinese massacres, of 

the sinister power of Chinese secret societies, of the 

nameless poverty, the hopeless filth and vices, of the 

Chinese masses. 

We need to have a correctly three dimensional life 
if we wish to experience Chinese wisdom as a living thing. 
Therefore, we first have need of European truths about 


ourselves. Our way begins in European reality and not 
in yoga practices which would only serve to lead us astray 
as to our own reality. We must continue Wilhelm's work 
of translation in a wider sense if we wish to show ourselves 
worthy pupils of the master. Just as he translated the 
spiritual treasure of the East into European meaning, we 
should translate this meaning into life. 

As you know, Wilhelm translated the central concept 
of Tao by Meaning. To translate Meaning into life, that 
is, to realize Tao, would be the task of the pupil. But 
Tao will never be created with words and good precepts. 
Do we know exactly how Tao develops in us or around us ? 
Is it by imitation, or by reason, or by acrobatics of the 
will ? We feel that all these things are ridiculously 
incommensurate with the task. But where shall we 
begin with this task ? Will Wilhelm's spirit be in us or 
with us if we do not solve this problem in a truly European 
way, that is in reality ? Or must this be at the last only 
a rhetorical question whose answer is lost in applause ? 

Let us look toward the East : there an overwhelming 
fate is fulfilling itself. European cannon have burst 
open the gates of Asia ; European science and technique, 
European worldly-mindedness and cupidity, flood China. 
We have conquered the East politically. Do you know 
what happened when Rome overthrew the near-East 
politically ? The spirit of the East entered Rome. Mithra 
became the Roman military god, and out of the most 
unlikely corners of Asia Minor, came a new spiritual 
Rome. Would it be unthinkable that the same thing 
might happen to-day and find us just as blind as were 
the cultured Romans who marvelled at the superstitions 
of the Christoit It is to be noted that England and 
Holland, the two main colonizing powers in Asia, are also 
the two most infected with theosophy. I know that our 


unconscious is full of Eastern symbolism. The spirit of 
the East is really before our gates. Therefore it seems 
to me that the realization of the Meaning, the search for 
Tao, has already become a collective phenomenon among 
us, and that to a far greater extent than we generally 
think. For example I take, as a very important sign of 
the times, the fact that Wilhelm and the indologue Hauer, 
were asked to lecture on yoga at this year's congress of 
German psychotherapists. Let us realize what it means 
for a practical physician who deals directly with a suffering, 
and therefore receptive, person, to- send out a feeler 
toward an Eastern therapeutic system I Thus the spirit 
of the East penetrates through all our pores and reaches 
the most vulnerable places of Europe. It could be a 
dangerous infection, but perhaps it is also a remedy. 
The Babylonian confusion of tongues in the Western world 
has created such a disorientation that everyone longs for 
simpler truths, or at least for general ideas which speak, 
not to the head alone, but to the heart as well, which 
give clarity to the spirit, and peace to the restless pressure 
of the feelings. Like the ancient Romans, we again to-day, 
are importing every form of exotic superstition in the 
hope of discovering therein the right cure for our disease. 
Human instinct knows that all great truth is simple, 
and therefore the man who is weak in instinct assumes 
great truth to exist in all cheap simplifications and 
platitudes. Or, as a result of his disappointment, he falls 
into the opposite error of thinking that great truth must 
be as obscure and complicated as possible. We have 
to-day a gnostic movement in the anonymous masses, 
which exactly corresponds psychologically with the move- 
ment 1,900 years ago. Then, as to-day, lonely wanderers 
like the great Apollonius, spun the spiritual threads from 
Europe back to Asia, perhaps to remotest India. 


Looked at from such a historical perspective, I see 
Wilhelm in the guise of one of those great gnostic inter- 
mediaries who brought the cultural heritage of Asia into 
contact with the Hellenic spirit, and thereby caused a 
new world to rise out of the ruins of the Roman Empire. 
Then, as now, insipidity, inflated ideas, bad taste, and 
inner unrest prevailed. Then, as now, the continent of 
the spirit was inundated, leaving only single peaks project- 
ing like so many islands from the vague flood. Then, as 
now, all sorts of devious paths beckoned the spirit and the 
wheat of false prophets bloomed. 

In the midst of the clanging disharmony of the 
concert of European opinion, to hear the simple language 
of Wilhelm, the messenger from China, is a real blessing. 
One can see from it that it has been schooled in the plant- 
like naivete of the Chinese mind, which is able to express 
profound things in simple language ; it discloses something 
of the simplicity of great truth, the ingenuousness of deep 
meaning, and it carries to us the delicate perfume of the 
Golden Flower. Penetrating gently, it has set in the soil 
of Europe a tender seedling, for us a new presentment of 
life and Meaning, after all the spasm of arbitrariness and 

Towards the foreign culture of the East, Wilhelm 
displayed an extraordinarily large amount of modesty, 
something unusual in a European. He erected no barrier 
against it, no prejudices, no assumptions of knowing better, 
but instead, opened heart and mind to it. He let himself 
be gripped and shaped by it, so that when he came back 
to Europe, he brought us not only in his spirit, but also 
in his nature, a true image of the East. This deep trans- 
formation was certainly not won by him without great 
sacrifice, because our historical premises are so entirely 
different from those of the East. The keenness of Western 


consciousness and its glaring problems had to soften 
before the more universal, more equable nature of the 
East, and Western rationalism with its one-sided 
differentiation had to yield to Eastern breadth and 
simplicity. To Wilhelm, these changes certainly meant 
not only a shifting of intellectual standpoint, but also 
an essential rearrangement of the component parts of 
his personality. The picture of the East he has given us, 
free as it was from ulterior motive and any trace of 
violence, could never have been created in such com- 
pleteness by Wilhelm, had he not been able to let the 
European in himself slip into the background. If he had 
allowed East and West to clash against each other within 
him with an unyielding harshness, he could not have 
fulfilled his mission of providing us with a true picture of 

Wilhelm fulfilled his mission in every sense of the 
word. Not only did he make accessible to us the dead 
treasures of the Chinese mind, but, as I have pointed out, 
he brought with him its spiritual root, the root that has 
lived all these thousands of years, and planted it in the 
soil of Europe. With the completion of his task, his 
mission reached its climax, and, unfortunately, its end 
also. According to the law of enantiodromia, so clearly 
understood by the Chinese, there grew out of the close 
of the one phase the beginning of its opposite. Thus, in 
its culmination, yang goes over into yin, and position is 
resolved into negation. I came near to Wilhelm only in 
the last years of his life, and then I could observe how, 
with the completion of his life-work, Europe and the 
European man drew closer and closer to him, beset him 
in fact. At the same time, there developed in him the 
feeling that he might be standing on the brink of a great 
change, a transformation whose nature it is true he could 


not clearly grasp. He only knew that he was faced 
with a decisive crisis. His physical illness went parallel 
with this spiritual development. His dreams were filled 
with Chinese memories, but they were always sad and 
dismal pictures that hovered before him, a clear proof 
that the Chinese contents had become negative. 

There is nothing that can be sacrificed for ever. Every- 
thing returns later in a changed form, and where so great 
a sacrifice has once taken place, when the sacrificed thing 
returns, there must be ready a healthy and resistant body 
in order to be able to meet the shock of a great transforma- 
tion. Therefore, a spiritual crisis of such dimensions often 
means death if it takes place in a body weakened by 
disease. For now the sacrificial knife is in the hand of him 
who has been sacrificed, and a death is demanded of him 
who was once the sacrificer. 

As you see, I have not withheld my personal ideas, 
because if I had not told how I experienced Wilhelm, 
how else would it have been possible for me to speak 
of him ? Wilhelm's life-work is of so great a value to me 
because it explains and confirms so much of what I had 
been seeking, striving for, thinking, and doing, in order 
to meet the psychic ills of Europe. It- was a tremendous 
experience for me to hear through him in clear language, 
the things that had been dimly shadowed forth to me 
from out of the confusion of the European unconscious. 
As a matter of fact, I feel myself so very much enriched 
by him that it seems to me as if I had received more from 
him than from any other man, and this is the reason I do 
not feel it a presumption if I am the one to offer, on the 
altar of his memory, the gratitude and respect of all of us.